Thanks for the well wishes… but keep your birth stories to yourselves for now!

I told my boss this morning that I was pregnant and expecting at the end of March. I was concerned that he might express concerns as we are planning 2013 company initiatives and setting goals, forecasting our numbers, etc etc, and here I am, obviously going to take some time off for maternity leave which would impact that forecast.

Turns out he was incredibly supportive and excited for me, with nothing but great things to say, full of questions and positive feedback. I was quite struck by this, not expecting such a warm and welcome response.  I expected a “Congratulations” and maybe some awkward or nervous talk about how this might impact our 2013 planning, but there was no such weirdness.

My boss is putting me in the driver’s seat, allowing me to define my maternity leave, the staff I’ll need to have in place to fill in the gaps, how it impacts revenue targets, etc. I assume his thinking is that the more I’m able to drive the whole process, (1) the more likely it is to succeed for both me and the company, and (2) the more accountability I’ll have and the less he’ll have if it doesn’t work out.

* * * * *

Interestingly, as I’ve told other people at work, the responses fall into two camps:

  1. People who have kids, male and female, are overwhelmingly supportive and excited for me and my husband. Frankly, they’re gushing.
  2. People who don’t have kids say, “Oh, that’s really cool, congrats,” and move on.

While the super supportive responses from others who are parents have given me warm fuzzies, what follows does not. Suddenly, all the people with kids are laying on me birth story after birth story, going down memory lane about all their experiences with each of their kids. It’s nice, but it’s overwhelming, and not really what I want to hear at these early stages. My husband and I are still getting used to the idea that I’ve made it to the second trimester, and we’re focusing on the next milestone, which for us is an amnio. We are not ready to hear about how this labor was induced because the baby was already a whopping 10 pounds, or how that labor resulted in a mad rush post delivery because the baby was born blue with the umbilical cord around its neck, or whatever else.

Ack!  People, I’m not ready to hear all this yet!  One day at a time!!

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Contemplating a “babymoon” (groan)

I get annoyed by a lot of little things, though I try to take most of life in stride. For example:

All the longs lines and wait lists for the iPhone5 when people have perfectly functioning and super nice smartphones already. But what should I care? It’s not my money that’s being thrown down the drain.

Housewives or other reality TV that isn’t some sort of skills contest or evaluation. Sheesh! It’s drama for the sake of drama, and those shows make me cringe. But I guess since I don’t watch them, I shouldn’t worry about it, right?

Coining variations of an existing word for a new but related meaning. Like staycation. And babymoon. Fine, other people can use those terms, but I don’t have to!

… except my husband and I are thinking of taking a trip before the baby comes. And the word BABYMOON jumps right into my head even though I don’t want it there!

BABYMOON! BABYMOON!

Ahhhhh! Stop it!

I hate that word! We’re going to take a little vacation before it gets too uncomfortable for me to travel, before the little one arrives. Not international, but somewhere that has nice weather in the winter. Florida might be nice.

But it’s NOT a babymoon. Don’t call it that!

But everyone’s calling it that. Ugh.

 

 

So far, so good

Second ultrasound: so far, so good.

It goes a long way toward my relief and confidence. Now, I am concentrating on the amnio scheduled in 3 weeks, hoping that the results that come about a week later are good, that nothing is wrong.

I started telling people, letting information trickle out. Of course, there are some people I want to tell face to face, so I’m holding off until the weekend when I can do that.

The latest sonogram picture shows what’s looking more and more like a real baby! Heard its heartbeat today as well. Different and separate from mine. Amazing.

Nausea is largely gone, but for some reason my joints hurt a bit, even though I haven’t gained any weight. Hm.

Hoping for the best to continue…

 

 

Pregnant and on the job: being Mommy VP

Link: New Debate Ignites on Maternity, Motherhood, and Executive Women

“We should all be congratulating Mayer on her new role and accomplishments and her pregnancy, not judging her,” says Debby Carreau, CEO of Inspired HR.

“If she fails, it’s not going to be because she had a baby, it’s going to be for other reasons beyond her personal circumstances,” says Jamie Ladge, assistant professor of management and organizational development at Northeastern University’s College of Business.

“I do wonder why we appear to discount other personal events in the lives of both men and women, such as impending surgeries, the need to manage a family of five, the need to deal with aging parents struggling with early signs of dementia, the tragic death (as opposed to a birth) of a child,” says Joseph M. Pastore, Jr., professor emeritus in residence at Pace University’s Lubin School of Business. “Somehow, the arrival of a newborn is seen as more demanding than the need, for both men and women, to tend, for example, to the lives of four adolescents.”

* * * * *

Week 13 ultrasound tomorrow. If all is well, I’m out of the first trimester and will tell friends, extended family, and (gasp!) coworkers.

I don’t know why I’m so nervous about telling my boss and coworkers. It’s such a small company, and my coworkers either have kids in the school-age range (people at my level), or they won’t be having kids for a while yet (people I manage). I’m in the middle, just starting a family. I feel a bit oddball.

Will anyone understand my constant need to excuse myself from meetings to pee? Will people cast aspersions if I’m slightly more emotional than usual? Will people doubt my dedication to the job or the company? Will they pass judgment on various decisions I make? Will they be concerned about what my particular maternity leave means to the company, since I’m a high level executive, involved in business development and client management?

I feel rather alone in this. While I keep hearing about pregnancies and newborns on Facebook, these friends are either far away from me or more like acquaintances that close friends. How did others deal with telling their bosses and coworkers? Did anyone else work for a super small company at the time? Were you a high level executive at the time?

Nervous!

* * * * *

Marissa Mayer

I’ve seen so much written about Marissa Mayer lately, not much of it helpful. A lot of speculation and polarizing opinions, not much about how it’s been working out so far (really well? not so good? how?).

I like the idea of women executives challenging the status quo in terms of what’s possible and what’s feasible in being both a successful mom and a successful high level executive. But do I want to be one of the women doing the challenging? Yikes! I wish someone else had already forged the path, I wish this was all figured out already, I wish the flexibility and options already existed rather than still being tested. I wish I had a lot of good examples and role models to work off of. But in reality, all I have as examples are:

  1. My mom, who worked in an era where you had to have a man’s approach to business to succeed in business, and ended up compromising some momness to continue being the household’s breadwinner.
  2. A former manager who woefully mismanaged her maternity leave, not preparing others well and therefore leaving us in a tough spot holding the bag when she needed to leave, and someone I saw struggle to balance life and work after she returned.
  3. A friend who eventually left her male-dominated job because of the demands and lack of flexibility, but stayed so long because she was the breadwinner and needed the income, therefore experiencing a very stressed and poor quality of life.
  4. A friend who moved to another company for better flexibility and benefits around maternity leave, but has since not moved up in her job responsibilities or title since starting a family. (This might be by her choice, though, and if so, more power to her.)
  5. A coworker who managed (and is managing) raising 3 kids throughout the 12 years I’ve been here, but is the wife of the guy who runs the company, and appears to have as much flexibility as she wants, by being available if needed (but not for anything urgent) yet not having to put in the 10 hours a day that other executives would.

So I feel like I have to be the one to do it well, be the Mommy VP, without any real-life examples from my own experience of other women executives who have actually done it well.  This makes me terribly nervous, that I am doomed to failure, that I’m not ready for this monumental endeavor of juggling.

But… the baby comes when the baby comes, eh?

Baby budget: I don’t know what half these things are

I have a pregnancy app on my smartphone that noted I should start a baby budget to evaluate the impact of bringing a child into the household. I went to the website and saw a list of line items associated with a new baby.

The thing is, I don’t know what half this stuff is, or I don’t understand why I need these things. What’s a doorway jumper? And why do I need a baby towel with hood? Or a humidifier?

When I was a kid, or when I was a teen taking care of my baby cousins, we didn’t have these things. There were bottles, bibs, pacifiers, diapers, a crib, some toys. (As a baby, I personally was extremely enamored of my grandmother’s Tupperware for toys.)

We definitely have money set aside, but are these others things necessities, or nice-to-haves? So I Googled “doorway jumper” and came up with:

Um, are you kidding me? I don’t think I know anyone who has this. I must live in the middle ages. Hang your baby from the ceiling! OK.

Since my husband will be staying home with the little one, maybe he’ll put it on the registry if he thinks it would help. Me, I’m just confused.

 

Traveling while pregnant

Airport Crowds
Airport Crowds (Photo credit: iansand)

Just got home from a quick two-day business trip to Salt Lake City. And let me tell you, traveling while pregnant is totally different than traveling when you’re not.

First, I just move slower these days.

Second, I need to ask for a pat down rather than going through those uncertain, somewhat new, scary X-ray machines. A pat down is not a small thing. It’s quite intimate. At least they asked me if I would prefer to do it in a private room. But it took longer. Once the TSA lady was done patting me down they had to test the gloves for… well, for things. So I waited.

Then when I got through security, grabbed all my stuff, and slowly made my way out to the gates, and then realized my gate is at the very last one at the end of the terminal, I got deflated.

The difference is when you’re running late for the flight, and you’re not pregnant, you get a little deflated. When you’re running late, and you’re pregnant, you get a lot deflated. You’re tired, winded, and thirsty, and you don’t have time to get some bottled water for the flight, which you know you should really get because you run the risk of being dehydrated on a 2 hour plane flight. And your bags seem heavier than they did an hour ago.

So.

I think I should give myself more time to get settled at the airport. I typically get there 45 minutes before flight time to get through security (in the speedy frequent flyer line), get food or drink, and then get to the gate. Maybe I’ll add another 15 minutes to that, to give myself some cushion. But wow, is it ever a drag.

Big belly already?

I feel HUGE. This can’t be right. I think I’m waaay too big for 11-1/2 weeks in a first pregnancy! I feel like the size of my TV. (I have a big honking TV and Monday Night Football is on right now, so that’s my reference point.)

 

That’s not normal for not being out of the first trimester, right?! What the hell? I haven’t gained a single pound. In fact, I’ve lost a pound or two, given that I had so much nausea and started eating more frequent yet smaller meals.

My pants don’t really fit well anymore. I need to wear skirts where the waistline can ride way up.  I’m a little concerned since I won’t be ready to tell anyone for another week and a half, until my second ultrasound at 13 weeks when I’ll be out of the first trimester. But I look HUGE already. Can people tell? Do I need to wear bulky clothes? I’m not ready to tell my boss! Ack!