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.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Is it possible to have postpartum depression after giving birth to a law degree? If so, I swear, I have it.

I look at sweet, snuggly little Violette snoozing beside me in the bassinette, and I think, hey, I did something right. Then I look at the stack of client files I need to work on, and it makes me want to go get a book of matches and some lighter fluid. (A few of the actual clients, and opposing counsel, give me that same warm, squishy feeling as well.) Seriously, I need a change. I miss working at an actual firm, on cases with actual substance. Yet I don't seem to be motivated to put myself out there. I don't want to work a gazillion hours for crap money. (I don't really want to work a gazillion hours for great money either.) I don't want to work for douchebags.

I guess I can't complain too much. I'll have a lot more time at home with Vee than I would if I were working full time and only had a few weeks off for maternity leave. I'll have some long working days (I've got one coming up in November that I'm worried about -- literally all damn day in court, in another county, so I have to figure out what I'm going to do about my bewbs), but I'll have plenty of days where I'm home all day, napping off and on, and that's nice. Or at least I will once I get these last few cases taken care of. Then I'm not taking on anything new for awhile. Going to wait to see what happens with the grant money for the MLP, and if it comes through, I'll be able to shut down my private practice and will be working full time for them in March, which will give me the opportunity to go back to school for free and get a degree that's actually useful this time. In the meantime, I'm hoping to catch up on some reading and hopefully start writing some more. Those are things I'm excited about. Dealing with clients that want to squabble about every damn thing... ugh. Fucking family law.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Blurry

As we near Week 3 of Violette, it's been kind of a blur. It's not like I ever stopped working, and although I had hoped all of that work would take place at home, it hasn't completely. Two days after getting out of the hospital, I was at the law library doing research. I was at the clinic the next week (although, in my defense, Vee had a doctor's appointment, so it wasn't out of the way). I had a meeting at the clinic this week. Next week I have another meeting. The week after that, I will probably be back working my hours at the clinic. October starts back court appearances. Fun times.

I'm just pretty much unmotivated to do much of anything at this point. Other than sleep and read Sookie Stackhouse books. So, not excited about being any busier. But those student loans won't pay themselves off, will they. If only I were still hawt like I was a decade ago, I'd change professions like this gal. But no one will pay to see my stretchmarks, that's for sure. Lame.

Oh well. Trying to figure what to be for Halloween. I know, it's a little early, but we get really into Halloween. Since we host the party and all.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Breastfeeding sucks (part 2)

Most awesomely, I managed to end up with mastitis thanks to a baby that has mutilated my nipple in her feeding frenzies, and after a horrible night Friday night, by myself, with a high fever that Tylenol wasn't touching, chills, feeling like I had the flu, and a boob that was absolutely on fire, I finally managed by late afternoon to get out of bed and drive myself to the UTC before they closed. Blubbered at the nurse about having not really slept in over 24 hours because my boob is on fire, in general being a total hot mess. I'm surprised they didn't try to give me any antipsychotic meds. Got an antibiotic and the script for Percocet filled that my OB had written me. Discovered I can't join the rest of the residents of my state in becoming a pill head, because I seem to have a mild allergy to oxycodone. (I start itching.) Oh well, the Benadryl helped me sleep last night, at least. I'm sure it helped Vee sleep too (although she was up at her regularly scheduled times for feeding).

And of course, part of the recommendation to treat mastitis is to pump more! Yeah... this sucks.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

"You should call her 'Mummy' not 'Big Milk Thing.'"

So, week 2 of Violette...

Vee eats, sleeps, and poops. A lot. If she's awake, she's probably eating. If she's asleep, she's probably still pooping. It's a vicious cycle. We're single-handedly killing the environment. (Which is no big deal if you ask Galileo, er, I mean Rick Perry).

Breastfeeding sucks (no pun intended). Anyone who thinks breastfeeding is this magical, beautiful thing is effing crazy. Bonding between mother and child? Bullshit. I like Vee a lot better when she is not trying to rip off my nipples with her jaw of steel. There are feedings that I just have to pump, because I can't stand the pain. Generally, we nurse during the day, and then she takes a bottle (and I pump) at night, because she also takes for-frickin-ever to nurse, but she'll drink down a bottle in under ten minutes and go back to sleep. She likes the bottle better anyway. Quicker access to the ridiculous amounts of milk she drinks. I know Cora is a bad comparison, since she really couldn't breathe well enough to eat for awhile there, but Vee drinks twice as much as Cora did at this age. She also gained an entire pound between Thursday of last week and Tuesday of this week. She eats a lot. But, she's a really good baby. She's snuggly and not fussy. She sleeps well in her crib. She travels well in the car. She just doesn't care. She's mellow.

Overall, I'm still pretty tired though. Trying to get work done has been difficult. It will get better the more we get into a routine, but I'm just pooped most of the time, and it's much harder this time around since Husband had to go back to work after 1 week. I've been rather short-tempered with Cora too. Things that don't usually bother me or annoy me (as they do Husband), have really irritated me lately. I feel bad yelling at her, when I usually don't. I need to be better. The adjustment to having a baby sister is hard enough for her without me being pissy. She's a real trooper though. She's thrilled to be a big sister, and always wants to help with feeding or holding the baby. Even with changing the baby.

Working from home for the month of September, but will probably start back some hours at the clinic here soon once I run out of things to do from home. Shouldn't be too soon though. The article we submitted to be published in this journal has to be rewritten, because they want us to change it for general submission (it was supposed to be for a special issue, but that issue got canceled). So, there's that, there's a couple grant applications to work on, and there are two family law cases I'm handling that will be worked on as well.

In other news, I am actually below my pre-pregnancy weight, only one week postpartum. My cankles are completely gone! My fingers are still a little puffy, but I can wear my wedding rings again. The bad news is, we got our blood test results from our life insurance application (that we did last month). We both have ridiculously high cholesterol. So, apparently cholesterol levels rise during pregnancy, but I kinda doubt they rise this much. It's probably more that I've spent the last 9 months eating whatever the hell I've wanted, because I don't have much of an appetite during pregnancy and I barely gain any weight. Husband thinks the answer is for him to get on medication, because both his parents take cholesterol medication. I think he needs to stop eating so much damn cheese and eat some oatmeal instead. So, I'm seizing control of the household diet. Which is difficult, since our house elf keeps bringing in junk food. For instance, I go to the store yesterday and buy a crapload of fruits and veggies. He buys Pop Tarts. Yes, I would much rather eat Pop Tarts. But I don't want to stroke out in my early thirties. Instead, I'm giving the green smoothie thing a try. (My college roommate is currently doing it and she swears by it.)

Monday, September 5, 2011

MILP Roundup #219

The Weekly MILP (Moms In the Legal Profession) Roundup** is hosted on a rotating basis at the PT-LawMom, Attorney Work Product, Attorney at Large and Butterflyfish blogs and is usually posted no later than Monday.


In honor of Labor Day, EH shares a personal history and a song from the western part of my state.

LC considers the adult she has become.

Momttorney is at 30 weeks.

-R- has a night owl.

CP has the same old rants.

But I Do Have a Law Degree dishes on maternity leaves, and LEO takes one. (What's a maternity leave, exactly?)

Dinei has the best parenting suggestion ever.

Dakota has misadventures in real estate. (Hope she's keeping the earnest money.)

Butterflyfish
has the scoop on the kids and the blackout.

CM is finished with summer.

LL is a soccer mom (hopefully she will be flipping you off from her mini-van, otherwise there's just no point).

RG is grounded by Lee.

Izzie misses the first steps, but sees the second steps after she gets out of the bathroom.

Googiebaba waits for the Zoloft to do its work.

SuzieJD salvages her vacation.

PT-Lawmom has cause for celebration.


If you would like to have your blog added to the MILP blogroll for weekly review or would like us to consider a specific post, drop the hostess(es) an email or leave a comment at their respective sites.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Birthin'

(I think it goes without saying, there will be discussion of lady parts in this blog post.)

The big difference in this pregnancy and my last pregnancy was definitely in prenatal care. Now, obviously, Cora required a lot more prenatal care thanks to a congenital lung defect, sophisticated prenatal surgery, and whatnot. Thankfully, none of that craziness went on this time. I was, in fact, surprised by how not-invasive prenatal care is when you aren't high risk. Like, I only have to go to the doctor once a month? I don't have to pee in a cup each time? No weekly ultrasounds, no weekly non-stress tests? But also I got to go to a private OB/GYN practice, and delivered at the private hospital. No three-hour average waits to be seen, no sitting in the waiting room with the lady prisoners, the crack-moms, and women so rough I'm pretty sure they could kill a bear with their hands. Just waiting about 10 minutes or so with some old ladies and some unremarkable preggos.

But there were definitely differences in delivery. Now, I'm sure if I hadn't been the problem child last pregnancy, they would have sent me home when I went in the night before my insurance final, believing my water was leaking. In fact, if the attending hadn't been there, they would have, but she said she wanted to keep me since they expected I would go early (something they'd failed to mention to me). So, I wasn't real concerned Sunday when I started having irregular, although painful contractions. Not pleased about it (or pleased that the Husband was passed out on the couch instead of paying attention to the fact that I was in pain) but I knew if I went to the hospital, I'd just be wasting my time. Then I started having more intense, regular contractions. I waited until they were 4 minutes apart, 1 minute in length, for an hour, like my instructions said, and we went to the hospital at 1 a.m. (Fortunately, we have a live-in manny, so we didn't have to get anyone out of bed to come stay with Cora, or drag her out of bed to take her with us.)

They took me in and hooked me up in the recovery room, which had three beds separated by curtains, because they were full that night. Although the contractions were now coming 2-3 minutes apartment, I was not dilated any more than I was at the appointment on Friday (when I was told I wouldn't be birthin' any time soon). So, at first they wanted me to go "walk around" and come back later. I'm like, WTF? I'm doubled over in pain from frequent contractions... you want me to do what? I want a damn epidural, is what I want. Then they made the call to hook me up to an IV because they thought I might be dehydrated (I wasn't) because the baby's heart rate was high and dehydration can bring on contractions. Two hours of drug-free contractions later, the baby's heart rate is back down but I'm still contracting at the same rate. They finally give me some drugs, which made me itch. Then they gave me some benadryl, which made me unconscious. Which was good, because they brought in Hillbilly Brigade into one of the beds, waiting for a c-section, and I was getting tired of listening to them. It was like being in labor in family court, holy hell. (I guess it was still better than being at University of Cincinnati, where I thought the screams down the hall was from ladies being in labor, but it turns out they were actually from pregnant women going through heroin withdrawals. Awesome.)

As an aside, the fun thing about being in "the city" is that for certain events, the hillbillies flock in. One of those events is for birthin'. There were several run-ins with the hillbilly kinfolk that day. At one point, Husband watched with amusement as two old biddies tried to figure out the door to maternity. (You have to push the button to have them buzz you in, then you pull on the door.) They buzzed in, but missed the "window" of getting the door open before it locked again, and couldn't figure it out. Finally, after watching one push on the door for awhile in confusement, Husband reached around her to swipe his security badge which unlocked the door. The old biddy apparently missed that and at that moment realized she needed to pull on the door, and pulled really hard at the now unlocked door... and hilarity ensues as said old biddy goes flying backwards with the door. The old biddies were grumbling about the defective doors, still having no clue what just happened.

Finally at 11:00 a.m., they got me into a room of my own. My OB came around about 1pm, and examined me. My contractions had pretty much stopped, but finally, I was dilated to 6cm. She said she didn't want to send me home just to have my contractions start again, so she made the call that it was time, broke my water and ordered Pitocin. I wasn't too concerned they hadn't gotten my epidural in yet, because the last time I had Pitocin it took forever to kick in. Yeah, not this time. It totally sucked. I had horrifically painful contractions for what seemed like an eternity and "slow deep breaths" don't do shit. So, I had plenty of "natural child birth" experience this time, and seriously, fuck that noise. Finally I got my epidural, and was able to get some sleep because I wasn't waking myself up with my own screams.

At about 6pm, the nurse woke me up and asked me if I was feeling that "pressure" that I should push. I was a little bit, but she checked me and I was 8cm. So, she left, and right around shift change, I'm definitely feeling it. Like, I'm clenching, trying to hold stuff in, because I felt like if I didn't, I'd be pushing the catheter out (I kept thinking about this awful med mal case we had where the doc left the catheter in during delivery, and the damn thing came shooting out still inflated, ripping up this lady's urethra... yeah... no way.) And totally awesome, the epidural was starting to wear off, so that was fun. Anyway, finally the nurse comes in and calls for the nurse midwife on call, and they're like, hey, the show's starting. The midwife asked me if I wanted to reach down and feel the head. I'm like, fuck no, I'm going to my happy place now, get this thing the fuck out. With only pushing through three contractions, I popped the baby out. (Fortunately she has a small head.) Then I was like, seriously, get me some damn food and caffeine. A bagel and a Dr. Pepper later, I felt human again.

So, that was my birthin' experience. Definitely a significant amount more pain this time, not pleased about that. These folks were not on the ball with drugging me up. As soon as I got admitted the last time, I got my epidural, and until the Pitocin really kicked in, I never felt a single contraction, and pushing wasn't a big deal either. I was much more exhausted afterwards (probably due to all of the emotional turmoil) and passed out for awhile after they scooted me off and we found out that Cora was pink and not blue. This time, there was a lot of pain. But I think there was more adrenaline this time, from excitement and happiness instead of fear, and I felt great after it was over. Like, hell yeah, the baby's out! Also, there was significantly less damage to my girl parts this time. Cora had to be popped out with forceps there at the end because her heartrate started dropping. At least this time around I don't pee myself whenever I sneeze.

Anyway, we had to wait around to get into a room and they took Violette to the nursery to check her out and suction goop out of her and all that good stuff. The staff were all very nice and friendly, but there were certainly a lot more interruptions this time. Last time, I had a NICU baby, so I guess that might be the difference. But, geez, this time, I swear, there was someone in my room every 20 minutes doing something. Usually a teaching hospital is more intrusive. They're sending in med students, nursing students, residents, fellows, proctors, who knows who else. When Cora was born, there was a whole room full of people, I didn't even know who most of them were. Maybe they were there because of the anticipated medical complications. But when Violette was born, it was me, Husband, the nurse midwife and the nurse. A few other people came in after she was out to do the whole baby warming thing, while the nurse midwife finished me up and did the whole placenta thing. But then postpartem, everybody and their brother is up in my room for something.

Other differences between the university hospital and the private hospital: Food sucks at the private hospital. We have a kick-ass catering company at the university hospital. Like, we have even have sushi in the clinic cafe. The stuff they serve in the patient rooms isn't 5 star or anything, but it's on par with like Applebee's or O'Charley's, and that's significantly better than what the private hospital is serving up. The private hospital calls their department "nutrition." Yeah, it's not. It's pretty gross.

I was a little weirded out by the morning and evening prayers over the intercom. Definitely not used to that. And we were pretty surprised when the lady from billing came in to ask if we wanted to "take care of our bill" that day (and dropped that we'd get a 10% discount if we did). I can't even get our billing lady to return my phone calls at the university hospital when I'm trying to help them get paid.

So, there you go. Overall, I'm happy with the care that I got, and if we decide to go for a third kid, I'd definitely go with the same group and happy with the care in the hospital. However, if I were high-risk, I'd want to go back to the university, I have more confidence in their abilities to manage complex cases, even though it is a horrible inconvenience. We still take Cora to the pediatrician at the clinic (not my department, but the internal medicine/pediatrics department), and we took Violette there today. I don't go to them because they're impossible to get an appointment when you're sick and would like to be seen that day or the next day, not the next week, but for the kids, we have an after-hours pediatrics clinic (which is where my office is) which is like urgent treatment for kids, but with a regular doctor visit copay. So, I'm not too worried about not getting in for a scheduled appointment. Our docs staff that clinic in rotation, so same folks.

Baby out. Birthin' done.