Oct 29, 2010

The middle-of-the-night pattern

Insomnia is nothing new to me. But for a short while, during the first trimester I experienced something wonderful: the ability to put my head on my pillow at 10pm and fall asleep and stay there until about 9am the following morning. Sure, I was feeling more exhausted in general and I'm really glad that the second trimester is not proving to be as debilitating.

Unfortunately, the second trimester also brought back the insomnia. In a slightly different format than usual. Typically, I can still fall asleep, but I wake a few hours later. Tonight, for example, I was in bed by 11.30pm but woke up around 2.30am, after hours of restless tossing and turning and half-sleeping. And when I say woke up, I mean: really awake.

I tried to make myself more sleepy by reading some of my e-book. I finished it, and sleep is still eluding me. It's now nearly 4am and I feel wide awake, and hungry again. I can't sleep when my stomach is growling, especially not on top of the baby-party that seems to be a regular occurrence in the middle of the night.

I don't mind so much. It's a new kind of insomnia, and secretly, I'm quite enjoying the kicking and pounding that's coming from the little one. Besides, it's Friday morning - finally the end of a long and arduous week of work. The end of October earmarks a slight change in work routine for me, and I'm seriously hoping that it means way fewer meetings and class preparation and way more research and rest.

Oct 22, 2010


It's starting to get chilly here and will be freezing tonight with 0C and a real-feel of -4C. I sure felt it when walking to a local eatery this evening. I'm borrowing Steve's down jacket as I can't fit into my own anymore. 

While one advantage of being pregnant is that I don't feel as cold as usual, my nose was still frozen by the time we got there. I drank lots of hot tea to warm up again. Brrrr.

Oct 15, 2010

Running just to keep up

At the moment, I'm running just to be able to keep up. October is proving to be a horrendous month for work. Not only am I teaching 2 courses, that requires me to prepare a new case study every week and run a pilot group project for the students, but it's also the mid-term season, so I'm preparing a grading grid for my grader (another case study), giving students feedback about their group project progress reports and racking my brain on how to keep the class busy next week when we have no reading assignments.

Amidst all of this, I'm also trying to work on several papers with my co-author who is visiting until the end of the month, while keeping 3 other research projects afloat. It's not proving to be easy. Not to mention all my new service obligations: I'm now an official member of the department's PhD committee which means I'm involved in several new initiatives including marketing material to attract new students.

At the same time, our department is recruiting new faculty. Two positions to be exact. So this month I'm attending 8 job-talk presentations and meeting with candidates. While it's better to be on this side of the coin than be the candidate, it adds up to a lot of work. Meanwhile, our own PhD students as well as some at other schools are asking me for input on their job market packages -- not lightweight things at the best of times. I am trying not to say no to any of these requests, as I see it as a "pay it forward" activity. Without similar such input two years ago from a meaningful mentor, I never would have made it through the job market.

All in all, life is hectic. I'm trying to fit in various doctor appointments, physio therapy (for my back) and gym/workout activities. No wonder that I was up at 3am this morning, dry-eyed with my brain running wild. The only solution: do some work till I feel sleepy again.

The baby is taking it all in his stride, growing fast and kicking happily while I get on with things.

Oct 3, 2010

20+ weeks

Friday we saw our baby again and this time it was for a scheduled 20+ week scan. Of course, I still managed to make a mess of things by forgetting to bring my prescription - actually I had no idea I even needed one. They gave it to me so long ago that I had stored in neatly away with all my other baby-medical files and it didn't even occur to me to think I would have to bring it. So it was a big rush for hubby as he zoomed back home in our car to find said missing piece of paper so that I wouldn't lose my place in the (long) line at radiology.

About an hour after our appointment time we were called in and the process began. It was quite lengthy and my pants were soaked with gel afterwards. The man in charge of the stick showed us pretty much every baby part you could think of: heart, organs, brain, vertebrae, arms, legs, etc. He said everything looks spot on. And that we will have our hands full - apparently our baby is super active. Sure looked like it on the scan, and I know to some extent because I've been feeling it kick around.

He measured everything too. And the average timing would determine the "final" due date of the baby. Which hasn't changed, so it's still a Valentine's day baby for the moment. The one thing he could not confirm was the baby's gender. The baby was facing upside down or backwards, so the legs were hidden from the ultrasound waves. He tried a different approach, but my navel got in the way by casting a shadow. In the end, there was no way to confirm whether our boy is indeed a boy. But we're going with it for now and we'll see! I have another scan after Xmas, so perhaps we'll know for sure then.

In the meantime, we're babysitting a hyperactive Spaniel. She's cute but boy, she has a lot of energy. Though as I write this it seems both dogs have finally worn themselves out after the breakfast sugar spike, and are now lying in their respective slots across the room. Off to brunch with a friend, and then catching up on about 2 days worth of work because this week has been hectically filled with meetings, wasteful photoshoots and who knows what else.