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.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Dark sorcery

I want to get a job working for a health insurance company, just so I can learn the dark sorcery of medical billing.

I finally received the bills from Children's Hospital yesterday, and was pleasantly surprised to find that they were much lower than we thought they would be. First, Children's is giving us a 30% discount on their services after insurance. Very happy about that one. Also, Student Health Insurance Company paid the diagnostic benefit maximum, but also there was a significant portion of the bills that were "adjusted." I assume that means because there's a contract in place that says Health Insurance Company will only pay X for certain services? But what I'd like to know is how that means, for instance, writing off 90% of an MRI. I'm damn impressed by that one. So, where we thought we would owe tens of thousands of dollars, so far, we're just in the thousands (at Children's). Sure, I'm not ecstatic about that, but hey, it doesn't in any way rival my student loans! (Wait, that doesn't make me feel better.)

I talked to someone this afternoon at our own University Hospital again regarding our bills, which will be much higher than at Children's. I was hoping that the words "law student" and "bankruptcy" would bend them to my will. Nope. While we still get no sympathy for being middle class, they suggested we wait until the baby is born, then apply for financial assistance, because we would probably get something then. Somehow it hadn't occurred to me that our little bundle of tax deduction would also make a difference in potential financial assistance. Granted, the university still doesn't care to screw their own students; apparently student status is not taken into account (the fact that they already get tens of thousands of my dollars every year should freakin count for something, but whatever).

But, worst case scenario, we just rob Peter to pay Paul. Husband can take out some student loans and we'll use that money to pay off the hospitals, and just gradually pay off the loans, along with mine, for all eternity.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Another week of muddling through

I'm still dangerously behind on outlining (as in, not having much at all), and still haven't learned Tax. The next month is going to SUCK.

I got my third NST this morning. No problems. Tried to talk to someone in financial services, and no one was there. The Medicaid benefits office was open though, and full. (I still find it difficult to believe anyone qualifies for Medicaid. You have to make less than $2,000 a year to qualify. You know, thank goodness we disqualify all those rich people who make like $4,000 a year, we certainly wouldn't want them to have health care, now would we.)

This week's activities include a meeting this afternoon with the director of my graduate program. He wants feedback from the students. The only real complaint I have about the program is the lack of uniformity when it comes to rules. For instance, joint degree students with the law school have to take three courses in international law-related topics before we can sit for our program's comprehensive exams. There was a lack of classes offered this semester, because our international law professor is taking a sabbatical to clerk for one of the Supreme Court justices. (A conservative one, bah.) I went to talk to one of the law school deans about getting into the two classes that were closed, a comparative constitutional law course and a course in Alternate Dispute Resolution (both filled immediately with 3L's), but I got shut down. When I went to talk to my program director, he was basically like oh, well, that sucks, I guess you'll have to put it off until spring. I can accept that, and did... until I found out a few weeks ago that one of my 2L classmates is taking his comps this semester, and he's using Admin Law and Intellectual Property to fulfill the "international law" requirements. Yeah, that's great. It's not the first time that sort of thing's happened to me. Things like that happen to me a lot, actually. Apparently my mistake is taking the word of the people in charge. I'm plenty assertive, I just don't understand why I seem to always be on the receiving end of the "NO" when others get positive results.

Tonight, I get to go home and attempt to bake something for our International Law Society bake sale tomorrow. I should have gotten some sort of insurance coverage, I'm very likely to tort someone (oh, the sick humor of being torted by an actual tort).

Then, tomorrow afternoon there's a "networking" event with some local businesses that I plan to attend. I figure it couldn't hurt, and besides, one of Mid-Size Firm's client's is going to be there so at least I know someone already. Then we're having dinner guests, a guy my husband works with and his girlfriend, who strikes me as incredibly strange. She isn't a vegetarian, she just won't eat meat that hasn't been slaughtered by her/in her presence. Uh, yeah, there will be no animal slaughtering in my kitchen, that's messy and unnecessary, and the screams will traumatize Family Dog. If the already-dead animal I bring in from the butcher shop isn't good enough, you're getting spinach lasagna. Husband defends this strange woman, as saying it is hypocritical to eat meat if you aren't willing to kill it. I say that there is no reason for me to kill my own food. We live in an advanced society that trades services. Farmers raise animals, I work in law. Farmers don't have to practice law, so I don't have to kill cows.

On Wednesday, I've got my "dental" appointment, and then I have the interview with PR about my graduate program (I'll refrain from telling them how they made me arbitrarily put off graduation for one semester).

We schedule on Thursday afternoon, so I'll have to stick around for that. Then Friday, we have dinner plans. Saturday I'm going to the salon, since I had to postpone my salon visit from a few weeks ago. My goal for the week is to finish my Insurance outline and start on my Torts outline.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Too much class

I think I have my schedule figured out, but we'll see.


I hate to do the 4-4:50 three days a week, but I really can't justify paying $800 for a correspondence course just because I'm too lazy to go to class. And besides, I've wanted to improve my Italian, and the reading course will help.

If I don't get into the seminar course, I think I will pick up Con Law II on Tuesdays and Fridays. That will suck even worse, but I was going to take the class anyway next year, and it fits well into my schedule.

Between classes, I can go home and eat/nap with the baby. Hopefully Baby will be a big fan of both of those activities, and not of constantly screaming her head off. Otherwise, I'll have to drop a couple classes and postpone my grad school comprehensive exams, which I'm supposed to take at the end of the spring semester.

So, that's that. Not the schedule I'd hoped for, but oh well.

In other news, Family Dog is terrified of beeping Carbon Monoxide Detectors. The batteries are low, so it started beeping. Husband's changing the batteries and resetting it, which makes it beep even more. I'm sitting on the couch, with a large, trembling chocolate lab that has shoved herself behind my back, whimpering. Bravest dog in the world... until there's danger.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Choices, choices

Trying to figure out what to take next semester that will be the least invasive/annoying/time consuming.

I have to take Evidence, and I have to take two courses that will qualify for the "international" requirements for my master's degree. I need to fulfill my language requirement in some capacity. Finally, since I had expected to make TAB and didn't, I am now short 2 hours. I planned on only taking 10 hours in the spring, but now I need 12 to not be behind and have to make it up next year.

I'm thinking I should go ahead and pick up a seminar class to get it out of the way, since those are 2 hour courses. There's one that requires more class time, but less effort. It's "Law & Popular Culture" which is watch a movie with law stuff in it, and then talk about it/something about writing a paper at the end. It requires 3 hours one night a week. The other class I'm interested in is Law & Literature, which is 2 hours one night a week, and requires the reading of books with law stuff in them. I like books, especially books that are about law, but not actually law, and books are something that can be read at 3am when someone's screaming. iPod to drown out screaming + arms to rock screaming baby + interesting books. I might be able to handle that.

My other choice is to screw the seminar altogether and take one of two classes. One is copyright law. I'm mildly interested in it, of course, I'm not qualified to take the patent bar, so I've been sort of wary of taking all the IP/copyright classes, because it seems like it would be a waste of time. Maybe I'm wrong. Anyone have opinions on this matter? It's also taught by an incredibly hot professor. Like distractingly hot. He used to be an underwear model. Might make it difficult to concentrate.

The second choice is a class that is scheduled at night, which I'm not thrilled about. Two nights a week 6 to 7:15. It's Medical Liability, taught by a local attorney. It sounds really interesting, and I'd love to take the class, but blech. Just the idea of having to return to campus at night, and arranging childcare if Husband works that night.

Which brings me back to the foreign language question. I can either pay $800 to do a Spanish correspondence course, or I can do a "Reading for Graduate Students" Italian course. That class is MWF 4 to 4:50. Class until 5 on Fridays? That blows. I might just wait to see what our finances are before I go through that sort of torture.

Relief

I'm glad this week is almost over. I'm on my way to bed. I have two classes tomorrow, work, we're working the ticket office at the ballet, and then it's the law school Halloween Party. I keep going back and forth on whether or not I want to attend that party. I'm in the "screw law school" mood right now, and people are pissing me off more than usual. Also, I'd much rather have an evening alone with Husband than with drunk, obnoxious law students. It'd be one thing if I could be a drunk, obnoxious law student, then I might be more interested.

Anyway, we do have costumes. We're calling it "shotgun wedding," our ode to mullets and those who sport them. We decided going as White Trash would be appropriate this year, as inspired by all of our new friends from the lobby at High Risk Ghetto Clinic at University Hospital. Husband has a mullet wig, and a "tuxedo t-shirt." I tried to find an actual wedding dress on eBay for cheap, but unfortunately even the ugly ones were rather expensive. So I settled for an ugly lavender gown. Tomorrow I need to get a cheap veil and some flowers, as well as a mason jar filled with clear liquid and XXX written on it. Ah, costumes that further the cultural stereotypes of our state. (Sadly, the stereotypes too often reflect the reality.)

In other news, I found out today that I definitely didn't make moot court. Whew. I had this sudden fear today that the universe would be cruel enough to make me deal with those assholes next semester. However, I do feel bad for a friend who actually wanted to make it, and didn't. I know how that feels! But I am through with caring about law school extra-curricular activities. What a waste of time. I'm just glad I finished the stuff for moot court, because I got my credit hour. But I'm over the rejection of not making TAB, screw it. I'd like to see any of them do as well as I did, 7 months pregnant, having had surgery the month before, missing nearly two weeks of class, taking 16 credit hours, spending one (now two!) mornings a week at the hospital, and still standing up and giving, maybe not the best performance ever, but a clean and solid one. And I didn't badger any witnesses either. To hell with them.

Now I'm just pissed I wasted my time in the first place. I put off studying for classes, missed part of our Fall Conference to work with my witness, and then had to put off even celebrating my birthday. And for what? Nothing. Completely pointless endeavor. I'm through sacrificing my time and energy for pointless things. I'm going to finish out the year taking care of the responsibilities I have, and next year, I will not be running for any more offices in organizations, or trying out for anything else. I'm going to take classes, go to work, spend time with my family and friends.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Survey

1. Name one person who made you laugh last night? A friend who came over (see below)
2. What were you doing at 0800? Chatting with a friend who came to pick up all of our Halloween decorations (she graciously agreed to host the annual Halloween party at her house)
3. What were you doing 30 minutes ago? Eating my lunch.
4. What happened to you in 2006? I finished my graduate school coursework, got married, quit my job, went on my honeymoon, and started law school.
5. What was the last thing you said out loud? "I have to pee."
6. How many beverages did you have today? One, a bottle of apple juice. I haven’t been awake for that long.
7. What color is your hairbrush? Pink
8. What was the last thing you paid for? Lunch.
9. Where were you last night? At home.
10. What color is your front door? White
11. Where do you keep your change? I have the mini M&M tubes for quarters. I have a big cup for pennies, and an actual change bank for nickels and dimes. Weird, I know. But I keep the change separate because we (used to) make frequent trips to Chicago and use the change for toll roads. Also, I started using the M&M tubes when we lived in an apartment and had to use the Laundromat, and keeping up with quarters was very useful.
12. What’s the weather like today? Cold and rainy.
13. What’s the best ice-cream flavor? Pumpkin. Otherwise, Strawberry.
14. What excites you? Food. Sleep. Cancelled classes.
15. Do you want to cut your hair? I need a haircut.
16. Are you over the age of 25? Yes.
17. Do you talk a lot? Yeah, I believe I do.
18. Do you watch the O.C.? I believe I’ve seen it before.
19. Do you know anyone named Steven? Yes, I most certainly do.
20. Do you make up your own words? Sometimes.
21. Are you a jealous person? Not generally.
22. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘A’. n/a
23. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘K’. n/a
24. Who’s the first person on your received call list? Husband, he called last night when he was at work.
25. What does the last text message you received say? I have no idea.
26. Do you chew on your straw? No.
27. Do you have curly hair? No.
28. Where’s the next place you’re going to? I’m going to a talk on human trafficking.
29. Who’s the rudest person in your life? I generally avoid people who are so rude that I would immediately think of them as being the rudest person in my life. I can think of plenty of rude people that I avoid.
30. What was the last thing you ate? Potato salad and a grilled sandwich on pretzel bread. It was tasty.
31. Will you get married in the future? No way, I’m never going through that again.
32. What’s the best movie you’ve seen in the past 2 weeks? Sadly, the only movie I’ve seen in weeks is Resident Evil, and that could never be considered a “best movie.”
33. Is there anyone you like right now? I’m not in the mood to like anyone at the moment.
34. When was the last time you did the dishes? I tried to do the dishes last night, including the pan I burned when reheating my soup. I shouldn’t be allowed in a kitchen.
35. Are you currently depressed? Somewhat. Law school + lousy pregnancy + medical bills + car issues + a really bad week. I’ll be better this weekend.
36. Did you cry today? No.
37. Why did you answer and post this? I got tagged!
38. Tag 5 people who would do this survey. Meh, no pressure. Whoever wants to fill it out!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Cold, wet, tired

It's 3:30 in the afternoon, and I'm going to bed. I only got two hours of sleep last night and I'm exhausted.

We got through our ultrasound just fine. I asked the doctor we've been seeing (Dr. G) about the NST's. She didn't even know we were doing them at all, let alone the idea of doing them twice a week. She said she'd talk to the other doctor (Dr. H), who's the head of the group, and discuss the matter. Then we had to wait over an hour to see another doctor (Dr. Younger Than Me), to do the routine pee in a cup/blood pressure reading/tummy measurement. Apparently they'd misplaced my chart and then forgot about me. Finally, we get through all that, and go to check out, and they seem to be having a really hard time figuring out how to schedule our upcoming appointments. Even though we've been there every week for the past two months, and now twice a week, the same woman wants to know what these weekly ultrasounds are for (as though I'm coming in for the fun of it), and we have to give this whole explanation. They were supposed to already have the next two weeks scheduled, but they don't, and they "couldn't" squeeze us in at 8:00 a.m. So we have appointments at 9:00 a.m., but they said if we get there before 8, they "might" be able to squeeze us in. Fantastic.

We finally get out of there at 10:40, unfortunately not enough time to go talk to the financial services people. After setting up a payment plan, I got a bill yesterday saying I randomly owe $100 of my balance upon receipt of that bill. Someone from their office actually called me over a week ago to ask why they didn't submit the bill to my insurance, which was from the original ultrasound in August. (No, I don't know why you didn't do your job, please don't ask stupid questions.) Then they're like, well, this bill is overdue. (I'd called to inquire myself why the bill had not been sent to the insurance company, and they assured me it had been. Apparently not.) Then I had to explain to them how I'd set up a payment plan, and I'd already made the payment, oh, like, the week prior. Brilliant. I get the feeling this sort of thing will be the norm in dealing with the hospital's billing department.

So, we had to skip the financial office, and head to the car so I could make it to class on time. Yeah, except the car won't start. Husband's car picks that exact moment for the battery to die. Not in the driveway when we left this morning, but three hours later in the parking garage. Husband stayed to get hospital security to jump the car, and I walked to the law school from the hospital, in the cold rain, without a coat or an umbrella. I was late to class, but fortunately it was insurance, and the professor doesn't care, he still let me sign in. Being there put me in a worse mood, I should have just skipped. Cold, wet, in pain from the long walk, and then guy who was our trial judge at the TAB tryouts started talking, which put me in a worse mood.

Afterwards, was the noon forum for the study abroad that I helped put together. I am very grateful for other people stepping in and helping out, because I was not in a position to do so, had made a mess of things, and none of my officers showed up (two had an excuse, the other, as usual, bailed on any responsibility). People were getting irate because the pizza was late, and we had a lot more people than expected, so we ran out. (Which is good that we had a lot of interest, but not so good that people were pissed off about not getting pizza.) At that point, I just had to leave. I wasn't feeling well, I was having really bad pelvic pain and I just wanted to go home. I didn't want to sit there anymore, being reminded of my failures.

Husband meanwhile got the car jumped and I called him to pick me up early. We came home and he made me tomato soup and grilled cheese, and we watched that zombie movie that's based on the video game. Resident Evil, I guess. Lame, but at least it wasn't scary, I don't like scary movies. Then Dr. Younger Than Me called to say they had discussed my case at lunch, and decided they wanted me to come in twice a week for NST's, so I should plan to be at the clinic on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings. I very calmly explained that we would not be doing that unless there was a very good medical reason, because our health insurance is not paying for it. Once I told her that, she was like, oh, well that's no big deal then, let's just do it once a week. Huh. Answers the question of "very good medical reason," now doesn't it?

Finally, I just got an e-mail from the professor who I had talked to last week about the TAB appeal, who had told me how much good feedback I had gotten on the scoring sheets, how the scoring is so subjective anyway, and how she really likes appeals, seeming to indicate that I would get a positive result. Well, apparently not. When I found out I didn't make TAB, I e-mailed her because I wanted to meet with her to discuss why. She's basically blown me off, and told me I just needed to talk to the TAB board members. Forget it. I'm just beyond caring. Considering that one of our opponents made TAB, and her cross-examination of our witness completely fell on its face and then she became openly hostile during the examination, repeatedly badgering our witness (and our objections were all sustained), I'm really not interested in anything they have to say anymore. Hopefully I can take litigation skills next year, and definitely not with that professor, but with a local attorney who is THE top mediator in our area. (He also teaches ADR, which I will just DIE if I can't get into. Everyone wants to take the class because there's no final, so it always fills immediately, but I want to take the class because it fits so well with my masters program, and someday when I grow up I'd like to be a mediator. Stupid class lottery.)

So, that's been my day. Tomorrow is our last PR quiz (thank god I'm not taking the MPRE next weekend, I'd probably have a stroke), and since this one is on the judicial conduct rules, I actually have to study. As in, I actually have to read them. My last quiz grade was rather lousy, so I lost my buffer. I need to get a better grade on this quiz to stay within the curve. I definitely don't want to go into the final exam digging myself out of a hole.

It's really sad when the highlight of the day (other than nothing scary being on the ultrasound of course), is setting a dental appointment. The College of Dentistry called to invite me to participate in a study they're conducting concerning gestational diabetes and possible link to a decline in oral health. I get to be in the control group. They're paying me $50 to come in and be examined, and after the baby's born, I'll get a free cleaning (which will save me money at Family Dentist in nearby Hometown, since I declined the over-priced student dental insurance which costs more than paying out of pocket for the cleanings). They also promised there would be no poking, drilling or otherwise. If they find cavities, I can go back to Family Dentist and he'll do the fillings cheaper anyway. (And I trust him to not randomly drill in my mouth. My one attempt at going to a dentist here in the city instead of driving back to Hometown resulted in multiple drillings, which I think were more to milk my insurance than actually having cavities. I'd never had a cavity before then, and I haven't had one since. She basically drilled at anything with a black spot, and called it a cavity.) I made the appointment for Halloween. I figure I can get my teeth inspected, then rot them out with candy.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Defeated

I didn't make trial advocacy board. I even appealed and still didn't make it. I know I didn't do a great job, but I really thought I did well enough to score on. Apparently not.

It's just one more thing making me rethink even being in law school. I thought I could justify my crappy grades by saying, hey, I make up for it in other ways, I'm good at other things. But the truth is, I'm just not good at anything. I've effectively failed at everything I've done so far. I didn't make TAB, or moot court, all the projects I've tried to accomplish for ILS have fallen through, including the study abroad. My grades are going to be terrible, if I even pass my classes at all, which will probably push me to the absolute bottom of the class. I'm up to my ears in debt, from school loans, and now all the medical bills, all because I didn't think through my choices. I can't even grow a baby without screwing it up. If I even make it through the rest of law school, and actually pass the bar, all of my original career goals are shot. I should have just stayed a secretary. Less debt, less opportunity for complete failure. Better health insurance.

I don't even know whether I should continue this semester, or just go ahead and withdraw.

Ugh

I had NST #2 today. No drops in heart rate this time, it was all normal. I was careful not to move or breathe too deeply lest the probes move and I have a repeat of last Monday's fiasco.

Yeah... except now they want to do NST's twice a week, in addition to the ultrasound once a week. Oh hell no. I refused to schedule the second one for next week until I talk to the doctor on Wednesday. Unless they can give me a damn good medical reason why I need to spend three days a week in that clinic, no way. You know what they call people who spend three days a week at the hospital? Employees. (I've yet to receive a paycheck.)

The really dumb thing about it is the only day they can do both NST's and ultrasounds is on Monday. So if I have a second NST on Thursday, and there's another random heart rate drop or something else suspicious, they don't have an ultrasound tech anyway. And I would have just had an ultrasound the day before, so what exactly is the point? Not to mention the fact that we're paying for all of this out of pocket, and I have yet to find out how much an NST is costing us in the first place. Maybe the crack moms on Medicaid and the residents at the Lady's Penitentiary have the free time and the health care coverage to spend all week in the clinic, but I sure don't. I don't know many others who do either. Even being the first appointment of the day means I sit in the lobby for at least 45 minutes, sometimes up to two hours.

I don't know how I'm going to get through six more weeks of school (not to mention two weeks of finals) spending three mornings a week at the hospital. Any more surprises? When do they decide I just need to be there every day? At least I have Husband to grill them for me, and question their judgment. They could tell me just about anything and I'd have no idea what it all meant and would be forced to take their word for it.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Keeping motivated

With six weeks left until the start of finals, I'm still having a real hard time finding the motivation to do anything except sleep. I pretty much slept the entire weekend. I can only study for a couple hours, then I need to sleep some more. It's just not getting the job done. I have five classes for which to outline. I have yet to actually learn Tax. I need my brain to leave my useless body behind and get some work done. I would really hate for this semester to bring me down from mediocrity to suckdom. I know C = JD, but still. I much prefer B's. (I think A's are out of the question this semester.)

I think I sleep so much on the weekends to make up for the sleep I don't get during the week. I have to be on campus by 8am for the next three days, two of which are for doctor's appointments. Those are really wearing me out. I don't get much studying done in the waiting room either, too much distraction from the freaks and criminals.

I'm also starting to swell. I had to take my rings off yesterday because they were starting to get too tight. I can't wear skirts anymore, lest my cankles and huge feet be noticeable. (For once in my life I'm ready for some cold weather.) I also have a hard time breathing because someone decides to stretch out and stick her feet in my lungs/ribcage. (I actually have an ultrasound picture of this phenomenon.) Third trimester = not fun. But only two and a half months to go at the most, and with finals coming up, it'll probably be over before I know it.

We're just glad we've gotten this far. We're almost to 30 weeks. When we had our initial consultation with the docs up at Children's, they gave us some statistics. At 28 weeks, a fetus has about an 80% chance of the viability of a full term fetus outside the womb. Those numbers go up by 5% each week. At 32 weeks, the fetus has approximately the same viability as a full-term baby. Granted, those with medical problems become the outliers, so there's some margin of error. Even so, we were at 23 weeks that day at Children's, the evening before having surgery, with zero viability and 32 weeks an eternity away. Now it seems like it's just around the corner. By Halloween, we'll be at 31 weeks, and at my baby shower, we'll finally be at 32. Although I still won't stop worrying until we have a baby sans CCAM at home with us, that will be a major milestone to reach.

I've never been so looking forward to finals! If only I could make myself study for them...

Friday, October 19, 2007

Lost

Last night was the moot court oral argument. Bleh. One of my co-workers was a judge on another panel, and there was much complaint about that panel just grilling them with questions and not letting them actually give their prepared argument. I would have rather had that. Instead I had chirping crickets and blank stares. They'd practically given my entire argument during appellant's time anyway. Okay then, I'll just go sit back down now with several minutes left instead of standing here rambling. But the important thing is it's over, and provided I didn't make moot court (I'm reasonably sure of that), I can get on with my life, with my newly earned credit hour. (At our school, we're 1 credit hour short after 1L, and have to make it up somewhere along the way.)

Today, I got some reading done, went to class, worked on some stuff for ILS and Women's Law Caucus, then went to work. When I got to work, my mother called me. I had just talked to her 20 minutes before, wherein she advised she and her brother were going to take a road trip to visit their brother [in a state that borders ours geographically] 6 hours away. This sounds reasonable, right? Not for my family.

My family cannot follow basic directions, nor can they read a map. We apparently carry a gene for the incapacity to travel. It's almost to the level of mental retardation, and I'm not exaggerating. For instance, just last week my mother called to tell me she was lost on her way home and needed help... on a road she travels on quite frequently (this is not a large city, there are only a few main roads, and she was on one of them). She often gets lost on straight road. And it's not just her, it's her entire side of my family. I don't think my grandparents actually meant to emigrate from Italy, I think they just got lost. Personally, I'm fairly good with directions, and I can actually read a map, but I have been known to get ridiculously lost on occasion, so I'm not completely immune (one time I got lost in the Chicago suburbs for nearly 2 hours trying to find my way back to the hotel after a wedding. It was too late to call anyone, and there wasn't even anything open to go ask for directions, it was really pathetic.)

Anyway, my mother has only seen her brother about a dozen times since she moved to our state as a newlywed 30 years ago. She talks to him frequently, but the whole travel thing just doesn't happen, because someone's going to get seriously lost. In general she refuses to drive on the interstate anyway (because she would get lost), and today she had to call me to ask how to actually get to the interstate (thus the first conversation we had). I advised her that if she sees a "Welcome to Canada" sign, I was not going to go get her, she would just have to become Canadian. Between her and my uncle, this is a definite possibility.

Fast forward 20 minutes... to top it off, just as I get to the office, my mother calls me back. She's locked her keys in the car, at her brother's house, with the ignition running. I'm like, no big deal, just call AAA. Well, she let her AAA membership expire, because she said it was too expensive. (Yes, and so is paying Pop-a-Lock $50 to let you back into your car.) Husband had to drive over there with his AAA card to get the job done for free. I told Husband we're going to start deducting his mother-in-law as a dependent.

So, my mother and my uncle left 8 hours ago and haven't arrived yet. The trip is supposed to take 6 hours. My mother's phone is turned off, which means she's not getting service. While my uncle lives in civilization, the way there... not so much. If you hear on the news about 50-something-year-old brother and sister who went missing during a road trip, that will be them, driving around lost, probably somewhere in Canada.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

More random thoughts

My thoughts shift between blind optimism and actual acknowledgment of the continuing risk of this pregnancy. I asked Husband last night how he was holding up. He mentioned that he was trying not to get his hopes up, because of what could still go wrong. I think it's too late for me, my hopes are already up, and I think in reality, he's not far behind. We've started referring to the fetus as "she" instead of "it" and have largely abandoned the in utero name we were calling her in favor of her birth name. Probably dangerous considering we still have several weeks to go before we can guarantee a safe delivery, and of course, the risks involved with neonatal surgery. But I feel like I can't keep living in fear of what could go wrong. I agreed to have a baby shower next month, and Husband promised to paint the nursery before Thanksgiving. His father will bring the crib they're giving us that weekend, and after finals are over I can start actually decorating. I want to start looking forward instead of stuck in the fear of each day, of each appointment, of what will go wrong. Easier said than done, and maybe setting myself up for heartbreak, but I'm taking a leap of faith that everything will be okay.

In other thoughts, I was just thinking today how surreal it is that my health, and even my life, could have been at risk. I could have ended up a (rather poorly done) episode of House from last season. If the hydrops hadn't resolved, it could have been bad news for me too. A recurrence of hydrops could put me at risk again. Strange that those realizations didn't truly sink in at the time. But then we often forget that pregnancy itself puts a woman's life at risk, assuming that modern medicine fixes everything. Even without the CCAM, the risk wouldn't have been zero. It's just surreal to think about.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Dressed for success, or something

Oral arguments are tomorrow night for moot court. I'm torn between that need to always try my best at things, and complete apathy about making moot court. I'm trying to find a happy medium, a good faith effort at giving a decent performance, but not so much that I'm going to sacrifice a ton of time for it. I just started writing it tonight, and it's actually coming along nicely. But I won't be practicing it, or memorizing it, and I sure as hell won't be wasting time with any ex partes. Moot Court Prez is on my judging panel, how fun. Good practice for real life when I'll have to be professional and work with people I've pissed off/who've pissed me off. Always the diplomat, that's me.

Speaking of which, today I was contacted by a PR person from the University. They're apparently putting together a promotional video for my graduate program, and want to interview me (I have no idea why they picked me). She asked me to meet her for an on-camera interview and to dress like "an average graduate student." I pointed out that I don't look like the average graduate student, since I'm ginormously pregnant. Hopefully she'll make sure my belly isn't taking up the entire camera view. One big talking belly, that's me.

The only maternity clothes I have are dressy, I'm not sure if that meets the requirement of "average graduate student" either. At the law school, most people dress scummy unless they're working that day. There are exceptions of course, the people who have a need to always look well-put-together. But overall, I think it's the mentality that we'll have to wear suits for the rest of our lives, so we might as well enjoy wearing t-shirts and jeans while we can. In my graduate program, however, the opposite is true. Everyone dresses to impress most of the time. Granted, on occasion we might come in scummy, but for presentations and events, we're always in business attire. In class, most people still dress to a certain level of sophistication. We're diplomats after all. Even the men are rather metrosexual in nature, and some are extremely so. So, I don't think we meet the description of "average graduate students" anyway.

But good thing I've got a salon appointment this weekend, I'm starting to look a little ragged. I'm in need of grooming. Some of my friends went in and got me this spa package for my birthday, a day at the spa for preggos. Sounds fabulous. Also, I went to Clinique yesterday and got a new eyeshadow, since it's free gift time (the only time I ever buy products from them) and my eyeshadow was getting worn down. Yay for free!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Every woman's dream.

Damn. I'm the luckiest woman in the world.

I came home from class this afternoon to find my husband wearing only his underwear, mopping the floor. He's been cleaning the house all afternoon.

I've never been so turned on. Hottttttt.

Insomnia

I went to bed at 9, which for me is unbelievably early. I woke up at 1am. I took a Benadryl and am going to give it another shot here soon. Oh the cruelty of being exhausted, and yet unable to sleep. I can't seem to get comfortable, being so enormous. And my mind just keeps going. Might also be because Husband is snoring like crazy. Normally I would usually just shove him over until he stopped, but he had a much harder day than I did so I don't have the heart. In some ways this is harder on him than on me.

Anyway, my random middle of the night thoughts:

Trying your best, yet still coming up short, really sucks. I'm looking forward to being done with law school so someday I can feel like I'm actually good at something again. All law school does is remind you how much you suck, you aren't the best and never will be, and you actually paid to be here to find this out. Just when you think you've embraced mediocrity, you realize you don't want to be mediocre at all, and you definitely don't want to be an outright failure. It's hard to always keep the attitude that it's all just a learning experience when you keep falling short of your already low expectations.

Being a parent is scary, and in ways you never imagine. I'm not really even a parent yet. Worrying all the time sucks. The drop in heart rate today was terrifying. I hate living in fear of what could go wrong. On one hand, we're over 28 weeks, and that's really good for our chances of viability. On the other hand, anything less than 100% is not really comforting. Anyway, I'm just hoping for a lot less crippling worry in parenthood and a lot more joy (not just for me, but the rest of you parents too).

I really want to eat the entire pint of gourmet strawberry ice cream sitting in the freezer, but Husband would never forgive me if I ate it without him. And it'll just wake Family Dog, and I'll feel guilty for getting her all excited that it's time to wake up, and then keeping her locked in the kitchen. Better go back to sleep instead.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Tiredness

Fortunately, I didn't have to be admitted to the hospital. The ultrasound was fine, I'm full of fluid, the baby's not, so all is well. Husband worked last night, so by the time we left the clinic, he'd been awake for over 26 hours. I'd told him to just go home and go to bed when we left the first time and I went to class, but he came back to the clinic to wait with me and get the ultrasound. Hopefully he won't end up with a migraine, he's prone to getting them when his sleep schedule gets messed with. As predicted, we had a two hour wait. And good thing we'd left, because it would have been a four hour wait. There were people still in the waiting room when I got back as when I'd left the first time.

The good news is we don't have to go back on Wednesday, we'll be back for another NST next Monday and hopefully won't have a repeat of the same experience, especially scary talk of hospital admission and premature labor.

Prenatal suckiness

The NST didn’t go so great this morning. I ended up strapped in for an hour, because fetal heart rate dropped twice during that time, or so they think. They don’t actually know. It’s probably because the baby moved away from the monitor, especially since the second time it happened, the lady moved the monitor and the heart rate went back up. Funny that. Anyway, so they’re making me have another ultrasound today. They want to check amniotic fluid, and if it’s low, they plan on admitting me for more useless lay-in-the-hospital-just-to-receive-IV-fluids. I’m never getting pregnant again, this is ridiculous. I was expecting a baby to overtake my life, not my prenatal care.

Since I refused to sit in the lobby for the next two to three hours, I told them I’d come back this afternoon after class and sit in the lobby (where I’m sure I’ll be for two to three hours). Which means I have to call in to work. I have a stack of medical records on my desk that I was working on, so if I don’t end up in the hospital, I’ll have to go in tomorrow, which sucks. If I end up in the hospital, I guess they become someone else’s problem.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Long ramble about anonymity

Taking a step from the momentary controversy that bubbled in response to the paypal donations for Lag Liv, I thought I would blog about anonymity since I am (mostly) anonymous. (And I'm sick of outlining today.)

I choose to remain anonymous on this blog for a few reasons. First, I started this blog because I found the blogs of other pregnant law students/law moms to be really helpful and supportive, and I wanted to contribute my experiences to the mix so that other law students that are moms or mom-to-be might take something useful away from it as well. I don't think that publishing my name and what school I go to is necessary to achieve that purpose. I thought it was important to point out that I go to a 2nd Tier School, and that my grades are nothing special. Other than that, who I am personally is rather unimportant to the experiences I have as a pregnant law student, and soon, as a law school mom. I'm sure my personality comes out, most of which is probably sarcastic and self-deprecating, and sometimes what I write might even be startlingly real. But what I publish is still a filtered version of myself and one-sided stories told through my perspective.

Even still, I was surprised at the comfort I got from blogging here, anonymously, about our situation with the CCAM, and how much the support from the other law moms helped. I had started the blog to be a source of information for strangers, and ended up with a virtual support group of my own instead. The internet is an odd world indeed.

However, on the flip side, there are also lots of internet crazies out there. And especially talking about being pregnant, there are internet crazies that go and snatch babies, and even worse, kill pregnant women and snatch babies. I don't feel comfortable being all "hey I'm pregnant and here's my name and address" with no idea who could be reading this blog. Maybe I'm being paranoid, but that's just how I feel. I know the chance of someone killing me and taking my baby is significantly lower than me being hit by a bus while crossing the street, but still, reasonable precautions nonetheless!

Third, I've already had my share of run-ins with internet crazies. I have a personal blog that is private, only friends and family have access to it. The blog used to be public, using my real name and where I go to school, and including pictures of me, my husband and our friends and family. Frankly, I never cared if people want to insult me and flame me. You put yourself out on the internet, and you're going to get hit with some hate, it's the nature of the beast so develop a thick skin. I blogged a lot about politics and other controversial subjects, and got plenty of anonymous comments, some strongly disagreeing, yet never scary or threatening.

But after years of having the blog public, I had to change the URL and made it private thanks to some harassment from the "friends" (more like "crazy internet associates") of someone I know in the real world -- a friend's wife (we'll call her "Crazy"). Crazy also has a blog, and decided to use that blog to rant about a personal problem she had with me, writing a nice long post about what a terrible person I am, how I had no excuse for my behavior, etc., and calling me some very unpleasant names. A nice one-sided story to invoke support from her internet readers to agree what a terrible person I am (and instead of acting like an adult and taking the issue up with me directly and privately, she expected me to read the post, see the error of my ways and beg for her forgiveness). She didn't name me specifically, but it was pretty apparent of whom she was speaking, as she linked to my blog. Then I started getting really nasty, threatening e-mails and comments from all these other crazy people who read her blog. If they'd just been insulting, that would be something different entirely, but the language of some of the messages was rather scary. You'd think I'd murdered puppies or something with the sort of psycho hate messages I was getting, geez. Talk about people who need something better to do with their lives.

I put up with it for awhile (it lasted off and on for a few months), but when Husband and I decided it was time to throw out The Pill and try for a youngin', I moved the blog and made it private. I said officially it was because I was looking for a job and didn't want potential employers looking at my blog and reading my opinions on politics/how much I had to drink last weekend, but I was more concerned about the internet crazies. (If someone doesn't hire me because I'm a liberal, or because I'm not a teetotaler, that's not somewhere I wanted to work anyway.) I thought that in light of the fact I was trying to get pregnant, I should take the threat of internet crazies a little more seriously. And when I started this blog, I definitely didn't want those nutters, or any others, to find me.

Anyway, those are my reasons for not putting myself out in the open. On the other hand, I applaud those who are willing to turn themselves into public figures, such as Kim, because blogging about her experiences wouldn't be the same without actually "getting to know her." She's a source of inspiration to her readers.

Regardless, it isn't that hard to figure out who I am. Also, several of the fellow law moms have access to my e-mail address, and thus, my real name, through the comment thingies on their own blogs. They can google me, find my school, find me on Facebook, and get my whole life story if they're really so inclined. But I don't have a problem with that at all and I always welcome new friends (that aren't crazy... I'm trying to weed out the crazies in my life). There's an element of safety in that these women are my colleagues in the legal profession; soon-to-be, or already are, members of the bar and officers of the court. That doesn't mean lawyers can't be crazy (god knows I've met plenty), but it's the rest of the internet from which I want to remain anonymous.

Even still, anonymity also allows people to write things they probably wouldn't want ascribed to them otherwise. Hateful comments, stupid comments, insensitive comments. I doubt that most of the women sending me psycho messages would have written the same messages if they had to sign their names to them and give me access to their personal information. Granted, there are plenty of people willing to write hateful things and sign their names to it (Crazy, for example), but most people don't. And that really becomes a problem when it's a question of safety.

Anyway, I think the internet communities are interesting, and how involved you can become in the lives of perfect strangers. I'm not usually an emotional person and Lag Liv's ordeal hasn't had me in tears per se. I don't know her personally, I only know this as the story of a stranger. But I find myself imagining myself in the same situation, imagining what she must be feeling, imagining that poor little boy being taken away from his parents, and it does break my heart. In empathy there's powerful imagery. It's why people sob in Holocaust museums, or get teary eyed when hearing stories of 9/11, even if they didn't know anyone personally involved. Because even though there are some pretty shitty people out there, people who take advantage of the kindness of others, people who do harm to others, and people who could help others but don't, I still believe the majority of people are good and compassionate and choose to be the Good Samaritan. I'm sure not much for Bible thumping, but I'm a big believer in helping your neighbor. Fulfilling the spirit of the law, not just the letter. (I think there's a jab at the Federalists in there somewhere, but I'm going to get back to outlining now and just let that one go.)

Friday, October 12, 2007

Nonsense

I can understand conducting an investigation. I can understand not just taking the words of strangers that they haven't harmed their child, when every other stranger before them probably denied it too and probably actually were child abusers. But what I can't understand is taking a little boy away from his parents without even conducting an actual investigation, and dumping him off with strangers. There are better options, more reasonable options, that are actually in Landon's best interests, but DCFS chose to ignore those, even after originally saying those were the measures that would be taken. Poor Landon is only 12 weeks old, and along with a myriad of medical problems during his short lifetime, he's suffered fractures to his ribs. Now instead of doctors actually giving him medical treatment, they've just caused him to be taken away from his parents, and sent off with strangers.

It breaks my heart and I don't even know him.

Imagine how his mom and dad must feel.

This isn't in the best interest of any child, especially not Landon. It disgusts me.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Things that crack me up

One of my law school friends is ranked #4 in our class. He got a swank summer job offer at Big Firm making $2300 per week in the Big City an hour north of us (where I had surgery). Oh, I'm sorry, that's actually $2308 per week, that extra $8 was definitely the deal-maker. Anyway, he expects to get a job offer after law school, since they've offered jobs to every summer clerk except for one (who apparently sucked big time).

Anyway, today I was talking about how I preferred working later hours, rather than going in earlier and leaving earlier, and was glad my firm offered that flexibility, because I am not a morning person. Number Four replies that he'd prefer to go in about 8:30 and leave at 5:30. I chuckled and told him I hope he doesn't expect to be working those hours as a new attorney at Big City Big Firm, it'll be more like 8 am to 10pm plus weekends. He was like, oh no, I won't be working that much!

Ahahahahaha. The poor guy actually thinks he'll be working a 40-hour work week, and that Big City Big Firm will be paying him $130,000 a year starting salary to leave early, take long lunches, and play golf in the afternoons. Just goes to show you, getting top grades sure doesn't mean you're smart.

Things they don't tell you in pregnancy books

If I actually labeled my posts, this one would be labeled "TMI."

Pregnancy books, even the ones that are more graphic about bad things that happen to your body, still downplay the nastiness that occurs during pregnancy, or exaggerate it to the point that you don't take it seriously. And then there are the earth mothers that are all "oh, pregnancy is beautiful, it's a miracle, the pregnant body is beautiful." Whatever. A real miracle would be a happy, healthy baby created with no mess and no fuss. Delivery via stork? Cabbage patch? Sounds good to me!

Anyway, on to the painful realities of third trimester. I missed all the supposed "feeling great" of the second trimester, mostly because morning sickness/fatigue continued until about 17 weeks, then at 21 weeks we got our CCAM diagnosis and all the drama that ensued. Third trimester has involved the following:

1. Weird changes to my nipples, including discoloration. It's like someone took a paintbrush to my nipples and then splotched color outside the lines. I take that to mean my entire breast is going to be one big nip by the end of the pregnancy.

2. The apparent separation of my pelvis that results in what I can only describe as pain in the vagina. It's pressure on the pelvic bone, but it also feels rather like muscle pain. On some days walking is almost unbearable. I now understand why pregnant women waddle. I just keep my thighs together and shuffle.

3. Stretch marks in stupid places. I expected stretch marks. Afterall, I got stretch marks during puberty, why should pregnancy be any different. However, while I look like I swallowed a basketball that sits right under my breasts, I haven't gotten any stretch marks there. Places I have gotten stretch marks? Along my bikini line at the tops of my thighs, and the very bottom of my stomach (which has only grown one pants size over the past several months). I can still wear several pairs of my pre-maternity pants, if they are low-rise, although they're a bit snug. So why do I have stretch marks in places that haven't grown all that much and no stretch marks in the places that have gotten enormous? And bikini line? I mean REALLY, that's just unnecessary and cruel.

4. Hair getting darker. I'm Italian, we're rather hairy. I'm just lucky that my body hair has always been rather blond and therefore not noticeable. My cousin didn't fair so well, and spends a significant amount of time and money waxing off thick, dark body hair. All my body hair has suddenly turned darker, and longer. If it gets any worse, I'm going to have to wax my (large, stretch marky) stomach, and even under my chin. Gross! I thought these were things to look forward to with menopause, I had no idea this was a pregnancy thing too.

5. Extreme horniness. You'd think Husband would be thrilled with this one, but I think he feels more cheap and violated than anything. First, there's the sudden role reversal of him always pawing at me for sex and me being like, god, it's late, I'm tired, I have to get up early in the morning, can't we just cuddle? Now he's the one telling me to stop molesting him, he's trying to read/sleep/watch TV.

Second, there's the fact that he can't possibly be attracted to me in the least bit, regardless of his adamant claims to the contrary. I'm enormous. I think he's only continued to have sex with me out of pity and as obligation to the marital commitment.

I used to look exactly like this:



Okay, so maybe not. That's why I went to law school whereas Gisele B√ľndchen gets paid for barely wearing clothes. But still, I was reasonably attractive once.

However, now, I look more like this:


Only with stretch marks.

Okay, so maybe I can't blame it all on pregnancy. I did gain 20 pounds since we started dating in 2001, and things were already starting to sag and wrinkle. But I was okay with that. Suddenly, my body has turned into a freak show, with bulges and weird hairs and random pains and stretch marks in crazy places. I think it's actually traumatizing my husband, as his large freak-show of a wife demands frequent sex, and he just wants to snuggle with my baby bump.

I told him to get it while he can, because after this kid's born, we'll probably never have sex again.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

28 weeks

Our ultrasound this morning showed no significant changes, but our prenatal care is about to be stepped up. We have to start doing the non-stress tests on Mondays, and so there's talk of us coming in twice a week instead of once. Ugh. Like we don't spend enough time there already. I did, however, talk to the doctor and ultrasound tech about our insurance situation (or lack thereof), and if there was anything we could do to reduce our costs (especially since we're increasing our diagnostics). They said they would help us out, so hopefully that means not billing us obscene prices for ten minutes of ultrasounding, that sort of thing. Anyway, they were having a lunch meeting with the neonatal team to discuss the upcoming problem cases (guess who's one of them), so we'll know more about our future treatment after they meet. Then we have another MRI in November back at Children's and have another consult with the team there. They seemed confident that the surgeon here could do the surgery to remove the CCAM, so we shouldn't have any problems with delivery here, but it'll be good to know what the actual "plan" is.

Anyway, aside from sitting in the lobby with the freaks and criminals, I'm not thrilled with spending two mornings a week in the clinic waiting to find out what's wrong with my unborn child. Once a week is exhausting enough, physically and emotionally. Not to mention the time away from studying. I'm ridiculously tired as it is, and then to be at the hospital two mornings a week at 8, just to sit in the lobby for nearly 2 hours, be seen, rush to class, and especially on Thursdays, having 4 1/2 hours of class in a row, sucks.

Remind me not to do this again. This was dumb. If I pass all my classes, it'll be a miracle.

Monday, October 8, 2007

My healthcare soapbox

If you haven't voted for Kim yet for the Blogger Scholarship, go do it!! If anyone deserves that award money, it's her! Just the bills I've gotten for my pregnancy complications have nearly given me an ulcer, I can't even imagine what they're going through with the bills from cancer treatment. Nothing like opening a pile of ridiculous medical bills to kick you when you're feeling down.

I've been reading through the health care platforms of the Democratic candidates, and honestly, I'm pretty disappointed. It's all just so... naive. And maybe you have to be in a situation where you find yourself actually needing medical treatment to understand why.

I have health insurance. My husband has health insurance. And the cost of our premiums are very reasonable. But when you closely read the policies, they leave much to be desired. And you don't realize that until you're hit with the medical bills, because how the hell should I know that an amniocentesis alone costs $2000? Better policies weren't even available to us through the University, and honestly I didn't think we even needed better policies. If this had been a normal pregnancy, it would have been great coverage. I never dreamed that I needed more than $2500 in "outpatient diagnostic coverage," but one MRI alone cost that much. During my last few years of full-time employment before law school, I watched as our policies got crappier every year. It wasn't so much the problem of our premiums going up, as it was our policy coverage going down. The co-pays going up, prescription coverage decreasing, maximum policy benefits decreasing, and suddenly large deductibles on top of it.

There are plenty of people out there without health insurance. However, I think an even worse problem is actually paying for health insurance and it not covering anything. Giving hands, giving you the finger. My mother works in retail and makes $11/hr. She pays nearly $200 a month for her premiums. She has a very large deductible, and after that it's 80/20, with very low policy maximums. She lives paycheck to paycheck. One stay in the hospital would bankrupt her. She's 52 years old, at risk for a whole slew of nasty medical conditions, and the older she gets, the more likely she'll be to end up in the hospital for something.

It's the middle class that suffers most. When I called financial services at University Hospital, the same University that I pay outrageous tuition to, the same hospital that employs (and underpays) my husband, a public hospital where the majority of the patients don't pay their bills anyway, I was practically laughed at when I told them what our yearly household income was and we needed assistance. Yes, I understand we live very comfortably -- without obscene amounts of medical bills, that is (or student loan payments as much as our mortgage, but I digress). Then I explained how just our weekly ultrasound visits will total close to $10,000 and that's the least amount we will owe, considering what we owe to the Other University Hospital and the Children's Hospital. But still, no discount. I got to set up a payment plan, and the bills have to be paid in full within 12 months or they get sent to collections. There's my own school, giving me the finger as usual.

My point is that having health insurance doesn't mean shit if it doesn't actually pay your bills. The "universal health plans" give lip service to "choosing your coverage." Somehow I doubt that. But then choosing the best of the worst is what we do in politics, so why not in health insurance coverage? Here's your health insurance... uh, just don't get sick.

Digging my way out

I'm hundreds of pages behind in my reading thanks to missing a week of school for surgery, letting myself wallow in self-pity, and finally moot court and trial advocacy board competitions taking up the last couple weeks.

The conference for our graduate program went well. It was much smaller this year, only one day, instead of two days as it usually is. I don't know if that's due to lack of funding, or if the new director felt two days was just too much last year. But I couldn't have attended the Saturday session because of the TAB tryouts anyway. The topic of the conference this year was "Russia After Putin?," examining several aspects of the future of Russia (the question being whether there will be an "after Putin"). I'm mostly disturbed by the fact that whoever designed the programs for the conference decided to put Shirtless Fishing Putin on the cover (in a collage). Gross. Sadly, it was the last fall conference I will be attending, since I am supposed to be graduating in the spring. I've over-stayed my welcome I'm afraid, taking 3 years to obtain my diploma when the program is only 1 1/2 to 2 years. (I couldn't do any work towards my masters during my 1L year, but I was still required to attend the conferences and functions.)

The moot court brief? Well, it sucked. But frankly at this point I don't even want to do moot court. I'm going to do the oral argument, get my one credit hour and get on with my life. I've had about enough of people not returning my phone calls, e-mails, inquiries in a business/professional capacity. I really struggle with keeping up with friends and family, and a lot of my messages go unreturned as I don't have time to chat with everyone (that's really why I have a blog, so they know I'm still alive). But if it's business, well dammit, it gets done. It's called being professional. And I'm really sick of people not doing their jobs. Moot court is definitely on my shit list. I'll be happy to not make it, so I don't have to deal with them next semester. On the other hand, I wish I'd done a better job on the brief, because part of me wants to seize control next year and show them how it's done. (Not that they'll know, they'll have graduated.)

Anyway. The trial advocacy board tryouts were mediocre. I think I scored high enough to get on though. I wanted to improve from last year's performance, but I just didn't have enough time to prepare, and I was not feeling well. We were at the district courthouse, and it was 90-some degrees and apparently they didn't think air conditioning was necessary. Opposing counsel had to stop during his closing argument, step outside and was sitting in the hallway with his head between his legs, trying to not pass out. Imagine how the preggo felt. But we all made it through, more or less.

After that was over, I finally got to celebrate my birthday! I turned 28 on Friday. Husband surprised me by buying me a pretty necklace. We'd agreed he wouldn't get me a gift (since we're trying to pinch pennies to pay our medical bills), but he did anyway. Then Saturday night we went out for sushi with some friends. Today, I slept a total of 15 hours. Can you believe that? I'm the laziest person ever. Boy did I need the rest, that's for sure. I promised that since all this craziness is done, I'd spend a lot more time resting and drinking fluids like I'm supposed to. And catching up on my reading! Got to do that too.

Now that we're at 27 weeks, the weekly ultrasound appointments are feeling a lot less scary. I'm feeling stronger, more like I can handle whatever comes at us, and even if I end up having surgery again, which I would really hate, at least we're getting so close that I feel better about our chances for a good outcome. If things continue to look good, I'm even daring to plan on a baby shower in November.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Stirring the pot

Uh oh, I'm causing trouble today. I finally had enough of the moot court people not responding to anyone's questions on TWEN (even if they can't answer a particular question, then they should just say so, not ignore everyone). One of my classmates asked me today if I had gotten a response to my inquiry on TWEN about turning the brief in early, because I will be at a conference in the morning and might not make it back to the law school before noon in time to turn in the brief when it's due. She's in the same position, where she can't be here tomorrow and wanted to make other arrangements. A reasonable request... that's been completely ignored. So I started some shit about them not answering people's questions. The moot court president asked me to call him "to discuss my question." I'm in a bad mood today, he'd better have something good to say, or he's getting an earful from a pissed off preggo. I'm still miffed over the whole "we can't give you an extension on your cite test even though we didn't bother to give it to you for a week and a half after everyone else got it." (Yeah, I read the moot court constitution that says I can apply for an extension, apparently he didn't.)

I'm not usually so confrontational and mean. My masters is in diplomacy after all. Today I'm just feeling more like warfare. I'm pregnant and large. I will body-slam someone with my giant belly.

Muddling through

We had a later appointment today, which meant I had to miss yet another Insurance class (this makes 5, and I only get 10 absences) and the appointment took up much more of my day. Fortunately things were good, but I'm low on amniotic fluid again, which means more resting and more drinking of fluids. Good on the drinking of fluids, not so good on the resting, although I did sneak in a nap today. Family Dog had a doctor's appointment today too, and she got to pee in a cup and get her girl parts poked. She got some meds to treat her recent incontinence problem. (Hopefully now she'll stop wetting the bed.)

I've managed to pull myself (mostly) together and get some stuff done. I've got everything written on my brief with the exception of the actual argument section (kinda important), which I have outlined, it just needs to be written. I'd hoped to get it done tonight, but it's just not happening. I'm going to write it tomorrow morning and make revisions tomorrow night and print it off. Gives me less time to prepare for the mock trial competition on Friday, but what more can I do, really.

I'm really looking forward to just going back to studying for five classes and being done with all this excess nonsense. Quite a few people have already dropped out of the moot court tryouts, so I feel good about myself for just continuing. Also, I finally got my PR quiz grades. Not stellar, but pretty damn good for someone who missed a week of school for having surgery! I'm right smack in the curve, and I'm perfectly happy with that. Especially since there were people who did much, much worse and probably didn't have surgery. So my mediocrity is actually a big accomplishment. Makes me feel good about myself, in a bizarre sort of way.