Monthly Archives: April 2013

My Baby is a Night Owl

April, 23, 2013

Sunday night, I was curled up with my body pillow between my knees as usual and thought I felt something. But I wasn’t sure. It was hard to tell. Maybe it was just the sheets or the pillowcase.

But last night, there was no mistaking it. I may have been wanting to be asleep, but the bump was doing the cancan.

I’ve been waiting for this. The last two times the nurse has tried to listen for the baby’s heartbeat, it was kicking so much that it was hard to get a reading. I’ve heard the baby kick, but it wasn’t until Sunday night that I actually felt it.

And last night, when I knew that I really was feeling it move, I was in bed at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing. And my mom was still asleep. And I lay there and told myself I should not wake her up just to tell her that I’d just felt the baby move. And I didn’t. She woke up to go to the bathroom, so I didn’t have to wake her up to tell her.

And as I lay there trying to fall back asleep, the baby kept right on dancing. Momma may be a morning lark, but baby? Baby is apparently a night owl.

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I Said the Dean Was Trying to Kill Me

April 19, 2013

As you recall, back on July 1, my company officially became the WMU School of Medicine. My department was just getting ready to begin the re-accreditation process. Because we now have LCME accreditation (that’s who accredits med schools), we had options. We could reapply for state-level accreditation through the Michigan State Medical Society (MSMS), or we could apply for national accreditation through the Accrediting Council on Continuing Medical Education (ACCME). My boss and I thought we should go with the ACCME because we can. The dean, however, had other ideas. He poo-pooed the idea of being nationally accredited. It was something about relinquishing too much control. I don’t know. I didn’t understand his reasoning. And for that matter, neither did my boss.

But the dean wanted us to stay with MSMS, so stay with MSMS we did.

And then today, about an hour before I left work and as I was trying to get handouts for next week’s Annual Developmental Disabilities Conference posted on our website, I got a call from Brenda at MSMS. You see, Central Michigan University is also opening a med school, and they’re up for re-accreditation, too. And the ACCME was looking at them which led them to look at us. And they called Brenda and told her that LCME-accredited organizations are not allowed to be accredited at the state level; they must be accredited by the ACCME. This was news to me, news to CMU, and news to MSMS. We’d all read the ACCME’s website the same way. LCME-accredited medical schools are qualified to receive ACCME accreditation. Being qualified is not the same as being required.

Dr Z and I don’t mind having to apply for national accreditation. It’s what we wanted anyway. But we want to know why it doesn’t clearly state that we didn’t have a choice. And we should have started this process six months ago. MSMS will grant us the maximum extension of our current accreditation to give us enough time (fingers crossed) to be accredited by the ACCME without having a lapse in approved status.

But it does mean a lot of work. Because we’ve never been accredited by the ACCME, we have to file a pre-application before we can file an application. And I didn’t have time today to look up everything that was required and what deadlines would be. Like I said, I was taking care of final preparations for next week’s DD Conference. I’ve got 380 people descending on the Kellogg Center in East Lansing. I really don’t have time for an accreditation crisis.

And if the dean had just agreed that we should go ahead with ACCME accreditation, we’d be writing up our self-study by now instead of trying to figure out what we have to do first. I am in desperate need of another coordinator. I’m behind on work that would fall under a second coordinator’s job description.

I was hoping I could squeeze in a week’s vacation this summer before the baby comes. No clue what my work life is going to look like now!

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Water Torture, Part 2

April 16, 2013

Well, it turns out the leak in my bedroom window is only mostly fixed. (Please read that as though you are Max the Miracle Worker. Or don’t. But if you don’t, it probably won’t make you smile.)

And not only is the leak in my bedroom window only mostly fixed, the window in the second bedroom as sprung a leak. In exactly the same spot. Makes me think they might be getting calls from several units. And that they’re feeling pretty frustrated. These windows are only a couple of years old.

So I have a sporadic drip in my bedroom and a constant drip in the second bedroom. And I discovered this as I was getting ready for bed. At least I could close the door and block out the sound of the drip from the other room. It did make for a long night. A sporadic drip is worse than a constant one. Just when you think it’s stopped… Well, you get the idea.

In other news, I’m almost done with PT. And my PT is teasing me about how I’m going to miss the naps. It’s true. We’ve been doing heat for ten minutes at the beginning of the appointment and ice for ten minutes at the end, and the best position to keep a pad on your shoulder is lying down… Yes, I will miss those 20 minutes… My last appointment is Friday. We’ll schedule a two-week follow-up, but if I feel like things are going well doing my PT at home, I can cancel it. I’m looking forward to not having to take my lunch break when I go to PT or trying to make up all of those hours. I need to call Mary this weekend to let her know and to find out what sort of prenatal massage schedule we should plan on.

Fingers crossed the windows are really fixed this time!

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What Happens in Centering…

April 10, 2013

I had my first Centering appointment yesterday. This is a newish way of prenatal care. Instead of just meeting one-on-one with your provider, you meet with a group of women whose due dates are near your own. There’s one-on-one time with the midwife and time to talk as a group. And, of course, because these are medical appointments, there’s a privacy policy. So what happens in Centering, stays in Centering.

Except I think it’s okay to talk about myself at these appointments. And while I might give some indirect information about the other women, I know I won’t reveal any PHI. (I do have to review HIPAA every year for work. I know the boundaries. Oh, and for those of you who are confused, PHI is Protected Health Information and includes a variety of things that could allow you to identify an individual.)

Heather was able to be there as my friend. I’m not the only unmarried woman, but I do appear to be the only single one. I was definitely the only one who is already lining up my “team” for the delivery room. (Really must get together with Nicki soon!) And I’m the oldest mother there. But the good news is that my Advanced Maternal Age was a surprise to the midwife. She said she would never have guessed that by looking at me. I did point out that I’m not 35 yet.

And I have the second due date of the group that was there. (There were some no-shows, and we’re told there’s a waiting list for our group. I suspect there will be more people at the next appointment.) And I’m the only one who still has morning sickness. Yes, overachieving as always.

The only disappointment was that the nutritionist wasn’t available yesterday. I was hoping to have a slightly more in-depth discussion of nutrition goals (e.g. just how much protein and calcium should I be attempting to consume each day?). Instead it was mainly a discussion of good snacks, small & frequent meals, and what is “safe” and “not safe” to eat while pregnant. My response on trying to decide if that particular fish is safe? Wait six months.

But it was an interesting group, and I’m sure Heather and I are going to enjoy getting to know everyone better. I just won’t be telling all of you about it. Because Centering, after all, is Las Vegas.

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Water Torture

April 9, 2013

There’s a leak in my bedroom window. At the top. Just a single spot. I discovered this leak in the middle of the night when it was raining. All night long, this single spot dripped. Drip. Drip. Drip.

Yes, I called the office as soon as I got to work on Monday. And the following night? Drip. Drip. Drip. All. Night. Long.

I waited until the office was open to call today. Kendra told me that someone had gone in to look at the window. He noticed that I didn’t have both the top and the bottom locks locked, so he locked the second one and decided that looked like it sealed it up. (I’m guessing he didn’t follow my advice of “go into my apartment when it’s raining so that you can see where the leak is”.) And since I’d put towels in the window well to absorb the quantities of water that were dripping from the top, he figured that meant the leak was at the bottom of the window. Clearly, he was wrong. But Kendra said that they’d have someone look at it again today. Fingers crossed that it’s fixed when I get home!

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Mail Call

April 8, 2013

I got a letter from Blue Cross/Blue Shield today, and not the usual EOB. It was about my PT. Or more specifically, the fact that they’d been paying for services which look like the originated from an automobile accident.

You remember that car accident I got in back in December that caused my shoulder to seize up? You don’t? That’s a relief. I don’t remember it either.

Well, if it wasn’t that, then it must have been a workplace injury.

You don’t remember that either? I’m so glad I’m not the only one.

Yes, BC/BS was hoping I’d check the “yes” box and then go on to answer all the questions explaining how I injured myself in such a way that some other insurance company needed to pay for my PT appointments.

Sorry to disappoint you, Blue Cross, but there was no accident. There wasn’t even an injurious event. My shoulder just stopped working one day.

And what’s really funny about this (well, to me, at least), is that PT is starting to wind down. I’ve been going since February, and I’ve made enough progress that I’ll be able to just work on my shoulder at home, for free.

I checked the box that said “no”, I did not have some accident or event that fell under a different insurance policy. Blue Cross is stuck with me.

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Curse You, Priest from “The New Normal”!

April 6, 2013

I am not a good Catholic girl. I haven’t been one in a very long time. I’ve found the Church to be frustrating since I was five and learned that I couldn’t be the First Woman Pope because women aren’t allowed to be pope. (And, please, don’t get me started on “Pope Joan”. I’m a historian, not a conspiracy theorist.) Sure, the only reason I wanted to be the First Woman Pope was because most of the other First Woman titles were already taken. Not sure why I wasn’t aiming for First Woman President… Maybe I thought that title would already be taken by the time I was old enough…

Anyway, if the Catholic Church and I were in a relationship on Facebook, our status would definitely be “it’s complicated.” I stopped going to Mass regularly a long time ago. I gave up on even being a Christmas-Easter Catholic a few years ago. But I still can’t give up the name. If people ask what religion I belong to, I instinctively answer Catholic. It’s my culture, my heritage. They joke that in Italy even the atheists baptize their children because that’s what you do if you’re Italian. I’m not actually Italian, but I am Irish, so same deal. Yes, this means I’ve stared at the ceiling in the middle of the night trying decided if I should baptize the bump after it’s born. Do I induct my child into the Church with which I have such a, well, complicated relationship? Or do I deprive this child of the cultural heritage of our family, especially knowing that Nonna and Gpa plan to give Momma a break on Saturday evenings by taking said child to Mass while Momma does something frivolous like take a long hot bath or a nap?

So what changed this year that made me start questioning how I’ve chosen to handle my complicated relationship with the Church? Sure, there’s the whole pregnancy thing. (Which method of becoming so the Church frowns on, even for married couples, I might add. Single mothers welcome, but the Church hopes you sinned to get that way.) But there’s also The New Normal. I’ve loved this show. I loved it and then they got to the religion episode and the debate over whether to raise the baby Jewish or Catholic and Bryan decides to go to confession and ask the priest for advice. And this priest… Best priest on television since Nothing Sacred. (I have no clue where, if anywhere, you can watch that show. I’m not sure if it’s been released on DVD or not. It should be because it was excellent. And controversial. And canceled without airing every episode filmed. Written by a Jesuit, so what else could you expect?)

The priest had a line that made me stop and think. We’re willing to fight for equality in the law, but as soon as the Church puts up barriers, we leave. There may be a lot of Catholics like me, who self-identify as such but don’t really go to church often, if ever. We may even outnumber our conservative peers. But we’re not the people you see in the pews every week. We let ourselves become invisible by our absence. And at the end of that episode, all I could think was that the priest from The New Normal was going to guilt me into going to church. Because if I truly believe that the Church needs to change, then I should be willing to show up and fight for those changes.

[SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t seen the last episode of season one of The New Normal, but you plan to watch it, you might want to skip the following paragraph!]

And then in the last episode, even though he’s initially said that, as a priest, no matter how much he wants to, he can’t preside over David and Bryan’s wedding, the priest shows up at the end and “by the power vested in [him] as a child of God” marries them.

And that is the catholic faith I know I still believe in. And, no, that’s not a typo. What I’m still trying to do is resolve my Catholic heritage with my catholic spirituality.

And I know that’s possible because I’ve experienced it once, in the wee hours of Christmas Morning, at the end of Midnight Mass at the Vatican. Our booklets said that the last song would be “Silent Night” but gave no music and no lyrics. James and I sang the English lyrics we learned as children. The couple next to us was from Argentina and sang in Spanish. The basilica was filled with people singing in their native tongues, each of us understanding everyone. And in that moment, the Church was truly catholic.

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