Almost done

I took my last three law school final exams last week (well, one Monday and two the Friday before that).  Pretty sure I bombed one. In the weeks leading up to finals, my company announced massive layoffs and fired my boss.  The day before my first two finals, I got moved back into the legal department I fled last summer and just about had a nervous breakdown from the stress. Fortunately, for now at least, I get to keep the non-legal title, barely competent staff and higher salary.  I took 2 days vacation, took finals in semi-peace and returned to the fray last week a bit more rested and less teary.  Tip:  Looking up to your left really does stop tears from flowing.

Work-wise, my whole department could be fired and/or outsourced any day or month.  The stress level is through the roof.  The lack of information and the way they are laying people off is just brutal.  One example.  “Go talk to person x about your new hire.”  Person x: “I just got fired and my last day is tomorrow but, SURE, let me help you with your hiring issue….”  Um….

School-wise:

I started law school in mid-2007 part-time.  I stopped at the end of 2008, 34 credits in, while incredibly sick and recovering from a bad divorce.  I started up again in mid-2011 with a then-8-year-old and 9-month-old.  The fact that this incredibly long and bumpy road is almost over still has not sunk in.  Grades on my final core bar classes will be arriving in a few weeks.  If I passed 2 of 3 (or preferably all 3) and I pass the 3-month bar prep/review course they make us take plus my last elective (patent law), I will earn my JD by Memorial Day and, a few weeks later, get a “you have earned your JD” e-mail.  We will fly out to CA in August for my graduation ceremony and my family can watch it streaming live online.  I have put the bar off until February 2015 to give myself a little break and plenty of time to study.  However, I also question the benefit of even taking the bar if I have no intention of practicing.

Conflicted, particularly as, with base salary and recent manager bonus plan, I now make more than the 50-year-old T1-graduate former BigLaw litigator who sits in the office next to me.  My job is JD preferred, not required, and I could do this for life and always make more.  Also, my new boss thinks that the LLM we were going to hire to work under me should only make $33/hour because that’s reasonable (FYI – it’s actually less than my admin makes…).  People see JD on resumes and presume you are overqualified for the non-attorney job or will always be out looking to join legal (i.e., the non-legal job is just a way to get in-house and then move into legal).   Not sure what to do about that.

Home-wise, adding a third kid is such an incredible change… we were seriously unprepared for the little but fundamental extra dynamics that this extra child has added.  For example, if I have to work late, the toddler will scream his head off racing around the house while the baby is screaming his head off.  Pumpkinhead can help with toddler but baby won’t calm until mom and her boobs come home.  That drives Mr. V nuts.  Baby just wants to lay on me. And it stresses me out because I need to work but I also hate that the kids are being so hard on him when I am gone.  Another dynamic issue is when we are getting the kids out of the car and Baby J decides to run into traffic while we are getting the little baby and his carseat out.  Learned quickly to reverse the order on that one!  Going to the store with all three is a challenge because Baby J at 3 1/2 still really needs to be in the cart so he doesn’t cause mischief but the infant seat and the toddler aren’t compatible so now one is inside the basket and one is in the seat and there isn’t room for much else.  Poor Pumpkinhead often has to push a second cart.  But, hey, we asked for it.  Still, challenging….

Lots going on but less than there has been.  The finish line is close, finally!!!!

P.S. Should also update last post to tell you that, with help of doctor/others, doing better with drinking issues.  :)

Not so divine

Remember that scene in the Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood where Ashley  Judd loses her shit with her kids, locks herself in a bathroom and ends up in a mental institution?  I can suddenly understand this.  This is going to be one of those really long, depressing, over-share posts that you should just stop reading now if you even are.

3 months ago I went into work after weeks of overworking myself until 7 or 8 at night and rushing home to feed kids or at least husband, cramming an insane amount of schoolwork into weekends and falling way behind.  On that last day, I showed up for work feeling horrid and only came in because I knew they had a “shower” planned.  It was a Tuesday.  I had a planned induction that Friday.  A global director decided to berate me during said shower for a problem I inherited in my new role that had not yet been solved for her.  Within the hour I was being rushed to the hospital by a kind colleague (boss offered to call me a cab to the hour-away hospital) and when the baby was delivered three days later (longest and scariest labor I have EVER had), it turns out I had suffered a partial placental abruption (hence all the back pain – possibly night before after fight with dad or possibly during shower).

I spent the next six weeks dealing with a crazy temp, a crazy permanent employee, calling in twice a week as required for “managers at my level” and trying not to let on to my boss that these bitches were fricking crazy.  Instead of the three months I had hoped to take with my third child, I was only able to take six weeks before rushing back to salvage my flailing department and ultimately fire one of the two crazy people.

Company then announced the third round of major layoffs during my six-year tenure is coming up in the next six months.  Meanwhile Mr. V is losing his company’s biggest client and we don’t even have a bedroom for the baby except my bed.

And, as I wind up my final year of law school (core class finals end of this month and capstone class finishes end of May), I have been drinking approximately 1.5-2 bottles of wine a night. This has been an ongoing problem for several years now that has just gotten worse.  As Blake Shelton sings, the more I drink, the more I drink.  I can’t stop at one.  No problem with beer, hard liquor, etc., just wine.  A few weeks ago we went on a week-long cruise that we had planned and pre-paid for almost 14 months ago.  The cruise line offered a drink package so we both signed up.  It had a 15-drink maximum per day.  And I hit it.  Every sea day and pretty damn close on port days.  One night I left the comedy club we were at, vomited in the bathroom, peed my jeans and had to leave Mr. V and walk back across the ship to our room to deal with my horrifyingly despicable, disgusting, shameful self.

Why am I telling you this?  Cause I am scared and upset.  I have put on probably 40lbs since I started drinking like this.  Before I turned 30 and before I divorced Chapin, I rarely if ever drank.  Now once I start, I can’t stop.  I can’t go to happy hour because I can’t limit myself to a safe point.  I have seen my doctor and she is helping me.  I have joined a group and they are.  But now I am so cranky and depressed and down and just overwhelmed.  The reality of life with these three kids is so much.  The logistics of getting them up, fed, bathed, transported, etc., is incredibly challenging.  I had no idea.  Adding the work stress, commute, marriage, Pumpkinhead’s ongoing severe challenges with his ADHD, etc., on top AND LAW SCHOOL and I am ready to check myself into an asylum.

Also… my parents.  I ended up crying hysterically in front of the kids today after having it out with my mother.  You may recall that I was going to cut them out of my life for a bit.  That hasn’t worked well as I need their help while I am in school and they take the kids to church on Sundays so I can study.  Because Mr. V has his own business, it is 7 days a week and so my choices are limited… even when bipolar Dad does things like leaving the 10 year-old and 3 year-old in a parking garage ALONE while he walks three miles to pick up his car (long story as to why). My parents invited themselves on our cruise, leaving my in-laws with both little ones instead of helping as promised.  So we asked if they would watch them while Mr. V and Pumpkinhead fly out to LA for my graduation ceremony in graduation (after the bar*).  They said no problem.  Today my mother reneged on that and said she can only watch one.  I got upset and she said my father won’t help her and my MIL should help because she hasn’t had a heart attack and 7 stents in her heart (yeah, she has just had a recent hip replacement, that’s all….).  I cried in front of the kids and then came home and cried for a half hour in the car with Mr. V while Pumpkinhead and Baby J played inside.  Every. Single. Time I think they can be trusted and won’t let me down, they do.  I am so upset.  I have never walked in a graduation ceremony – not high school or undergrad.  I really want my husband and at least Pumpkinhead there to watch this.  We can’t afford to bring all the kids.  Now maybe I will simply have to go alone.  I am so very sad.

I always feel like my posts end with no point except to vent.  That could be true.  FWIW, this was indeed a vent post.  Yes, I know I have enough existing health issues without sending myself into an early grave by drinking.  Yes, I know that drinking doesn’t set a good example for my kids.  Yes, I know that it is more of a stimulant than an actual relaxing substance.  Yes, I know I am a dummy for not seeking help earlier.  Yes, I know I will likely fail at this a few times.  Yes, I know I can’t control what happens with work or my parents or even my kids but I’d sure like to be able to.

P.S. Baby J told me today he wants a different Mommy.  I cannot begin to tell you how that hurt. (It was because I gave him a shower but still…)

P.P.S. Just realized my last MILP Roundup was 11/18.  Obviously I am way off.  I am sorry.  I am also completely unable to absorb a single extra thing until like June.  If then.  If I can keep it together that long.

*I have delayed my bar until next February for my sanity and because one of my employees is already taking it in July.  I don’t need it for work and already make more than our legal would pay me as a first year so there’s no rush unless, I suppose, I lose my job in the layoffs.

Kids are cute and do love each other though, even though they have all decided screaming at the top of their lungs and pushing each others’ buttons is the new best thing.

IMG_6929

Weekly MILP Roundup #327

The Weekly MILP (Moms In the Legal Profession) Roundup is hosted on a rotating basis at the Butterflyfish, Ptlawmom, Attorney Work Product, Attorney at Large, Today & Tomorrow, Magic Cookie, and Reluctant Grownup blogs and is usually posted no later than Monday.

While the Lag Liv family added to their brood, CP is heartbroken.

Tips for a Professional Woman” raised RG’s ire

Alice focuses on the positive.

But I Do Have a Law Degree sweats it out.

 CM juggled

Dakota’s long transition period finally comes to an end.

Grace rocked the playroom design!

Izzie’s a little lost but making her way

Daisy is horrified by excess

Kate tries to find the right direction

AAL’s Pea demonstrates her social graces

Hard Boiled Egg gets crafty

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.

Introducing CJ

Our third (and final) little guy is finally here.October 24, 7:50p – 7lbs, 13oz, 20 1/4″

Screen Shot 2013-11-06 at 2.27.59 PM

 

The last few weeks of pregnancy were absolutely miserable – drowning in work and throwing up constantly (with that lovely puke-and-pee feature of a woman who has already had two kids… TMI, sorry).  The plus side?  Already in pre-pregnancy clothes at two weeks postpartum.

I was scheduled for an induction on Friday, October 25.  Best laid plans…. That Tuesday my father called me on my way home from work.  We had a tense discussion and then my back exploded in pain.  Came into house and told husband I felt lousy.  Got very little sleep and dragged myself to daycare and work Wednesday morning wondering how on earth I would make it through two more days.  My work had thrown me a little breakfast.  Followed that with fast-paced meetings trying to go through things with my staff.  I noticed that one of the men who almost never wears cologne that I am aware of suddenly smelled incredibly overpowering.  That should have been a hint.  Around 11 a.m., I got up to go to the bathroom and I could barely walk.  My thighs were shaking, I felt sick to my stomach and I knew something was off.  My admin said “Maybe you should go home” and I was like “um…yeah, good idea.”   She got boss and boss was like “we could call you a cab.”  Hahaha, clearly my boss is not a lawyer.

Fortunately one of the attorneys had the presence of mind to firmly say no, I was neither to drive nor go in some random cab, and she offered to drive me.  We were going to drive to my house but as we drove off I realized that was incredibly dumb.  My house is about 45-60 minutes from the very large hospital in which I was to deliver.  Fortunately my doctor’s office is across the street from the hospital so I had her drive that way, figuring OB would send me one place or the other.  Ended up in the hospital in L&D and Mr. V and Pumpkinhead got a ride down from my mother in order to pick up our van; coworker’s husband drove her back to work after my husband finally let her go.

Labored all of Wednesday with regular bloodwork to monitor the level of meds still in my body.  They gave me demerol and phenergan and let me sleep overnight.  By morning, I was almost 4cm.  They had told us Wednesday night that they would add pitocin and an epidural Thursday AM so Pumpkinhead and Mr. V went home and planned to return first thing.  They got there around 6:30 and pit was started.  That’s when the fun began.  Nurse came in about 45 minutes into pitocin dosage and told me that she had to stop it because blood tests were still bad.  Because I had been on blood thinners to prevent another blood clot, they couldn’t give me an epidural without risking a brain bleed.  I was suddenly faced with a scenario I had never contemplated – a pain-med-free birth.  Let me tell you, ladies, I just about lost it.  I was both scared and panicked at the idea.  They could also have done a c-section but it would mean 1) knocking me completely out – again, no spinal needles allowed and 2) another abdominal surgery (I’ve had more surgeries than I have fingers, folks…)  So it looked like I needed to labor and pray that the levels would go down.  They told me they would run another set of labs at 7p to see where I was at but, ugh, OB would NOT induce me at 7p but wait until the next day instead because they can’t start an induction when another colleague is on call.  That was horrifying on many levels – the idea that I might progress on my own without meds, the idea that Pumpkinhead would miss yet another day of school (he really wanted to be there), etc., etc.

I think my panic worried them.  I was ready to call for a c-section.  Yes, I am a wuss.  My OB came over around 2p and spoke with the anesthesiologist.  He agreed to run a different type of test and, if all well, give me an epidural.  Of course that was the winner and my epidural went in around 4:15p.  Knowing my OB wanted to leave around 7, good patient that I am, I delivered CJ at 7:50p with about 2 blissfully pain-free pushes. But that is when OB realized that the early labor and back pain was due to a partial placental abruption – placenta had ripped off uterine wall.  Baby had wrapped cord as well.  She said I was incredibly lucky I had been laying still for two days on a monitor!  She couldn’t believe he wasn’t distressed by both things.

Pumpkinhead was first to meet him after Mr. V and he was in love.  We introduced Baby J the following day and it was more happy brother time.  Posts to come about each kid’s acting out due to household changes but punchline is they both love the baby.

<NOT SURE WHAT IS HAPPENING WITH PIC BUT YOU CAN VIEW IT IF YOU CLICK ON IT – WILL OPEN IN NEW WINDOW>

IMG_6021

Helpless

Not sure what is going on with my family lately.

Pumpkinhead has been very clingy/reverting to baby-like status and simultaneously agrressive.  This morning he kicked our dog!  I was furious and told him we NEVER express anger with physical violence.  Then Baby J kicked the dog tonight (he didn’t see Pumpkinhead so not sure where he got that idea).  Pumpkinhead responded by hitting his brother.  :sad:

The new baby is being induced next Friday, Oct. 25.  Came home last night after working until 9:30 p.m. to a counter full of dishes and Mr. V asking me “what do I do when Baby J poops in his underwear?  I wasn’t sure so I put it in a baggie and left it on top of the washer.” :evil:

Came home tonight and what do I see?  1) Bag of poopy underwear still on top of washer, 2) shorts and poopy underwear on floor in front of washer, 3) ONLY two items of Mr. V’s clothing washed in washer, 4) overflowing basket of dirty laundry in my bedroom (plus FOUR baskets of clean clothes that need to be folded in my spare time), 5) a sink/counter full of even more dishes, takeout containers and a dishwasher full of clean dishes, 6) two half-full sippy cups and a spilled jar of artichoke hearts in my fridge.

Baby J has decided tantrums are the way to go (again, wondering if this is pre-baby nerves).  He melts down at every transition and I have a horrible time getting him ready in the morning as he throws himself on the floor while I try to get him dressed with my enormous belly in the way.

Did I mention enormous baby?  While I had worse health issues in prior pregancies, this one is just incredibly uncomfortable.  Doctors said he was 6lbs at 32 weeks.  My inner thigh nerves are on fire from the pressure, my legs are swollen and now he is kicking my belly and making me vomit?  Plus side?  Have gained TWO POUNDS!  Lost a ton from vomiting and higher metabolism due to baby-growing.  Maybe I should go on the HCG diet when I am done.  :smile:

I. Am. Done.  37 weeks pregnant this Sunday, Baby J’s birthday party this Saturday (and no cake ordered yet), a TON of homework to be done including one 5-page paper due tomorrow and another assignment due Friday, a temporary staff member to train, a permanent staff member who keeps over-promising and under-delivering (and lying to me!), an intern who keeps forgetting she works for me, several policy documents to write and publish, a new system to launch and train 15 people to use, two baskets of infant clothes to fold and put away, a hospital bag to pack, etc., etc., etc.  LOSING MY MIND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Weekly MILP Roundup #321

The Weekly MILP (Moms In the Legal Profession) Roundup is hosted on a rotating basis at the Butterflyfish, Ptlawmom, Attorney Work Product, Attorney at Large, Today & Tomorrow, Magic Cookie, and Reluctant Grownup blogs and is usually posted no later than Monday.

Proto Attorney has killer perspective on another year in the books

LL rocks her pumpkin belly and makes me want to take a road trip to Dallas (an incredible thing… ew Dallas!)

While RG is undecided on baby #3′s name, her two existing boys are reminding her how cute and cool brothers can be

CP rocks out with naked dance party!

Izzie is finally outta there!

Kate reaches a milestone

CM is awed and inspired

Alice’s second baby is breaking barriers and reaching milestones

LC is the coolest parent ever

Shannon provides an important reminder for our kids’ safety

Frenchie had a hell of a day on top of dealing with sick toddler

AAL has the best conversations with her child!

Daisy’s Gracie girl is the sweetest thing

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.

Need Etiquette Advice!

My mother approached me about 4 weeks ago and told me she wanted to throw me a baby shower.  BUT… she wanted to do it up fancy (about $50/head for afternoon tea) so I had to SEVERELY limit the guest list.   Last time I had a shower, only one person showed up.  Of course this time almost everyone invited said yes so she is shelling out almost $800 between headcount, centerpieces, gifts, etc.  Here’s my etiquette question.  First, a shower for a third baby is a bit weird, yes, which is why my mother wanted to make it more of a fancy celebration and less about gift-giving.  Clearly I couldn’t invite everyone I would have wanted to if it was a less formal gathering.  So what to do when she or others (or me) post pictures of the event on Facebook.  There are a few friends that I am certain will think they were snubbed to not even have received an invite.  Do I explain my mom’s financial constraints?  Do I leave it be?  I would hate for anyone to have their feelings hurt.  On the other hand, I could be thinking too highly of myself and perhaps it’s more likely people really won’t care.  Help?!?!

October Looms

It’s Saturday after a long week.  Last night Baby J climbed into bed with me when he got home.  Pumpkinhead and Mr. V soon joined us for cuddle/chat time (one of my favorite things).  Just when I thought my heart couldn’t get any fuller, it overflowed.  Baby J put his hand on my belly, looked around at his brother and Daddy and exclaimed “My family!”  :mrgreen:

We are headed into the home stretch on this third and final pregnancy.  I will be 34 weeks pregnant this Sunday and the doctor tells me he is currently measuring large at six pounds as of Thursday’s ultrasound.  They always tell me my children are going to be huge and none have been much over 7lbs so, yeah… we’ll see.  We (okay, Mr. V) were hoping for a Halloween baby but that is four days past my 38-week mark and my OB is concerned.  I have to be off the Lovenox (blood thinner) for 48 hours before induction but no more than 48 hours or I run risk of all sorts of other issues, such as a pulmonary embolism.  Lovely.  And if I go into labor spontaneously? NO EPIDURAL.  :shock:  Um, no freaking way.  Apparently things like excessive bleeding and brain bleeds can occur if they give epidural without 48 hours off the blood thinners, dang it.  So we may be looking at the 28th or 29th instead, sigh…  Maybe Mr. V will be happy with the compromise of having Baby J’s birthday mid-October (he’s 10/22) and keeping this one’s at Halloween/Halloween-themed), even if his actual day falls a few days before.

Lag Liv mentions that she is oddly enjoying her third pregnancy.  I wouldn’t say that for me but I have been better able to be positive and keep it in perspective, likely because I know this is my last and because, although I am still experiencing some medical issues with this one, both my last ones had much more pervasive/painful issues.  It’s been a bit easier with two under my belt to look at the issues in a more objective light.  Calling that a win but still looking at possibly reducing my in-office hours starting next week because I’m exhausted and my legs are swelling for the first time in a pregnancy, making driving home at 7p no fun.

The month of October will likely fly.  Mr. V’s birthday is Monday. My mother is hosting an afternoon tea shower for me at a posh hotel on October 6.  Our wedding anniversary is October 10. Baby J has his third birthday party on October 19.  Sometime in the midst of this I have to write several papers for admin law (and classes, classes), get our bedroom ready to accept an infant until we can get our addition done, wash all the baby clothes and, oh yeah, kick off several huge initiatives for new job.
New job is going well.  Looks like I never mentioned but I did get the job!  Six weeks in now, Baby J in different school, etc.  Oh, yeah, and 23% raise – making more in a non-legal job than they pay the first-year lawyers in our legal department.  Crazy!  Boss seems to like me and appreciate what I am doing.  My admin is being a pain in the ass, undermining me.  Fortunately the attorney who was a potential (and then actual) mean girl/thorn in side quit and is off to better things (didn’t report to her but my new position is closely entwined with legal).  My admin seemed to think she reported to mean girl.  Fortunately, I could keep mean girl’s comments (to others, never to me directly) in perspective, remember that the common denominator in this behavior is her and realize that whatever her deal is has much more to do with her own issues than mine.  I can choose how to respond.  Or, as Ana points out, “no one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”  So I heard what she said about me and laughed.  :smile: