Great Expectations: Elizabeth @ 17 Weeks

Eli_Carson.jpgI'm not going to lie, the last two weeks have been rough. On Friday, July 22 I got a weird virus that impacted a lot of pregnant women in my area. It manifested with mild flu symptoms - low grade fever and aches but no loss of appetite - with major vertigo. I went home sick and didn't come back to work until Wednesday. When I called my midwife on Sunday (the worst day by far) and told her that I couldn't stand up without holding on to something, she said that normally she'd send me straight to the ER but I was the sixth pregnant mother to report such symptoms and that it's just a weird virus without much of a cure. She told me to check in every few hours, drink lots of liquids and eat protein, and go to the ER if it got worse. She saw me the next day and baby Mae's heartbeat was drumming like a banshee, plus I was feeling a tiny bit better, so we decided to let the virus run its natural course.

It didn't help that it was over 100 degrees in Ukiah all that week; we have air conditioning, but any time I stepped outside I was instantly overheated. Carson got into the endearing but obnoxious habit of placing his HUGE HAND on my arm or forehead any time I looked hot to check to see if I had a fever, which instantly made me feel 100 times hotter. Happily it has "cooled" to the 90s and I mostly feel better, except for some lingering fatigue and one particularly troublesome problem...
I am the Executive Assistant for a large non-profit in our area, which means I work on the computer. A lot. After this virus, however, I seem unable to look at a computer for more than 10 minutes without having to look away (which is probably a good habit to get into anyway), and after about three hours I'm dizzy and nauseous and have to go home. Fortunately I have a very understanding and flexible workplace, and I have been able to use sick hours and also work from home in the evenings. I'm hoping that as time goes on it will fade away, but there's just no way to know.

In more fun news, I'm pretty sure I can feel Mae moving around in there! It doesn't feel like a butterfly or a wave like it has been described to me; instead, it's a very mild cramping sensation, sort of like I'd expect it to feel if a tiny baby were pushing against the walls of my uterus. Go figure.

This weekend I'm flying to Los Angeles with a group of three adult mentors and 11 high school students for a college access retreat. I've been a volunteer mentor since my scholar (now a junior) was in seventh grade, and this trip was the last chance for me to travel with her before I have a kid. Did you know that highly qualified low-income students often drop out as college freshmen because they feel like they don't belong? That's exactly what Partnership Scholars aims to combat. It focuses on helping these students get into and STAY in great colleges, and it includes funds to help them do "middle class" experiences like visiting museums, eating out at restaurants, traveling to visit colleges, going to summer camp, and so on. Pretty rad. Anyway, I'm hoping that my vertigo doesn't flare up on the propeller plane we'll be taking from Santa Rosa to LAX, and that I have the stamina to wrangle 11 teenagers for five days. Wish me luck!

Photo caption: Carson and I went to the wedding of one of his childhood friends this weekend and had a blast. Can you see my baby bump? (Me either.)

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