Something’s Gotta Give


My hands trembled as I dialed my husband’s number as quickly as I could. This was the first of two times I’d do this in a span of 24 hours. I did my best to hold back my tears and choke back sobs and when he answered the phone I let it out.

I felt like I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. The event that was the straw the broke this camels back isn’t that important, in fact, I hardly remember the specifics. I just knew that I felt like I had so much weight on my shoulders coming from every angle. The stress was getting to be unbearable but it would be nearly detrimental to show weakness among my peers.
Before I ever started college I told myself I’d find a way to get all of my tuition paid for. After much research and many many scholarship applications I was able to more than do so.
Before we decided to get pregnant, I told myself I’d find a way to save enough money, aside from my normal day job, to cover the money I’d be short during my maternity leave. So far I’ve been able to do that, but it means working on my days off. It means working when I get home, after my long 10+ hour a day shift at work. It means networking my butt off, and losing sleep. This week, the effects hit me hard.
Migraines, restlessness, and a cramping scare that sent me to the OBs office to check and see if I was dilating prematurely. Luckily I was not, my cervix was closed and just fine, and baby girl’s heartbeat was strong and normal, and based on her level of movement, she seemed to be doing great. But my already low immune system was down for the count, and caught a terrible stomach bug that’s going around. The midwife told me to rest and drink lots of fluids, but to call again if I started throwing up or couldn’t keep any liquids down.
That diagnosis was confirmed a couple short hours later when I upchucked my lunch… And was just 10 seconds shy if it landing on my boss instead of in the porcelain god. I laid on the floor in the bathroom (gross I know) and kept my head on the toilet between heaves, all the while praying no one would walk in.
I didn’t have much morning sickness, and being well into my second trimester I assumed I was mostly past that phase. I debated working through it at work, but I gave it another half hour and had to leave.
When I got home I noticed my husband had left five packages for me on the kitchen table (my eBay winnings) usually when I get home and see these the first thing I do is run to grab the scissors and tear the packages open like it’s Christmas morning. But all I had the strength to do this time was grab the boxes and carry them upstairs and lay them next to me in bed. I curled up with my bottle of water and tried to sleep.
My husband called a few times to check on me and realized how sick I was when I told him I hadn’t opened my packages yet. He decided to skip basketball and come home to take care of me.
I couldn’t stop throwing up. Even a sip of water would send me to the bathroom. I was scared to eat. Scared to drink. Scared I would get dehydrated and send myself into preterm labor (yes, I’m a nutcase, but I know it can happen). I paged the on-call nurse and wondered if she’d tell me to go to the ER to get IV fluids. Turns out it can take awhile for you to get that dehydrated. She told me to drink smaller sips and call in the morning if I was still throwing up.
Sadly, more than my fear of ending up in the ER was my fear of missing work the next day. I knew I already had a story assigned that people had taken time to arrange, I felt guilty knowing that I may have to cancel it all, and wondered what they’d think of my absence. I sent an email warning a few people of my condition, but hoped I’d feel well enough to at least go in for part of the day.
Today, I woke up able to keep liquids down. I was still feeling nauseous but didn’t think I’d throw up, so I decided to go in for a few hours. I’m sure to everyone around me I looked perfectly fine but inside I felt like I was dying.
Trying my best to put on a serious face I survived my three hours of work and checked out after my interviews. On my way home I told my husband I was stopping off at the grocery store to get ginger ale and fruit. When I got out of the car and walked into the store I knew I had to make it quick. My head was light and my legs were weak.
I skipped looking for a cart and grabbed a hand basket… A mistake. I hurried down the drink isle and grabbed apple juice and a six pack of ginger ale. I rushed over to the produce section to grab a container of fruit. A man down the isle asked if I wanted to try a free sample of something and I tried to squeak out something like “no thank you” but I knew the clock was ticking.
I’ve fainted before so I know the signs when it’s getting close. Having no shame I knelt next to the fruit while I thought about which one I wanted and how I’d execute my exit strategy.
I made my decision, chose the fruit with the biggest variety… Also the heaviest… Another mistake, and b-lined it for the check out lane.
Literally having to stop and kneel several times along the way. I began to worry how I’d make it out of there. The first time I fainted–pre-pregnancy I left the building on a stretcher. I didn’t want that today.
I walked with haste, dropping the fruit container a couple of times, but finally made it to the register where I knelt again. I prayed the woman ahead of me would take her time paying and that the woman behind me would stop looking at me like I was crazy.
The man at the register was too good at his job and must have rung in my items in record time. I stood up to pay and only focused on one thing… “Staying conscious.”
I swiped my card, entered my pin, and stabbed the “enter” key like a mad woman. But then I knew my time was up and I was going down. The last thing I remember was grabbing the unstable counter and saying “I’m sorry, I’m going to pass out.”
Thank God when I fainted this time, I didn’t hit my head, or land on my stomach or really fall forward or backwards. I think I had barely enough consciousness to collapse on my knees while I waited for my sight and hearing to return. This was the third time this has happened since being pregnant. The other two times I was out for interviews at work and had to apologize as I knelt down on the ground as I was blacked out. I chalked it up to being newly pregnant and my body adjusting to changes. But this time in the grocery store was the worse case so far, and the scariest time since I’m much further along than before.
I was still shaking when a woman from another register came over and asked if she could get me a chair. A manager asked if he could bring me some water and I told him I just needed to sit. I didn’t chance it, and called my husband to come get me, hands trembling as I dialed his number like the day before. We only live a few blocks away from the grocery store so he ran, literally, over to come get me and drive me home.
This afternoon as I’ve sat and pondered about everything I’m going through, my body changes, demands at work, demands dealing with getting ready for the baby, I’ve decided I need to reorganize a few things.
Recently I decided to take on another opportunity but I realized that adding it on to everything I’m already doing would be absolutely ridiculous, and I really need to give something up in return. Obviously I can’t really do much about my day job, but I will be more conscious about over exerting myself and be less afraid to speak up when I know I’m not feeling well. I’ve been scared to be judged or seen as a “drama queen” but I’ve come to see that my, and my baby’s health is more important than peer perception.
Next, I’m no longer going to be doing my MomTV Show every-other week. For now, I’m changing my show to once a month until I feel like I can handle more. I initially started it every-other week because I knew every week would be too much to add to my plate, but it’s the least “profitable” out of all of my extra curricular duties and the one easiest to cut down on.
Also, I’m keeping my full term of giveaways going but I’m not filling the unassigned spots, and I’m asking my sponsors to be understanding if it takes me an extra week to get their feature up.
I also think I’m going to cut back on babysitting in another month or so. I LOVE the kids I watch, but not having a full day off to rest and recuperate is killing me (yes, I understand this is what moms go through on a daily basis, but I think I should try to enjoy my non-mom status as long as possible). Luckily my husband can help in the babysitting department and take over most of my duties if need be.
Unfortunately, another thing on the chopping block has gotta be blog stalking. I’ve already cut back on commenting because of time, and I hate myself for it. I loved the days when I could spend hours surfing the web after work on my weekends, and reading the blogs of all of my readers, finding new blog to read, and making new friends. With this baby coming and planning for her it’s sucking away a lot of my extra time and energy… Even my search for a doula has caused me several migraines… But that’s another post entirely.
I love what I do… Everything I do, but something’s gotta give, and I’d prefer it’s not my legs out from under me.

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  1. Becoming a Mom is a whole new level of compromises and choices you’re making. Evaluating what you have on your plate vs. what you can handle is a good skill to have! I know you’ll make good choices, and you’ve got a lot of support on the blogosphere! *hugs*

  2. The blogs, the networking, the people, your job…all of these things can wait. Your health and your baby’s health is the most important thing right now.

    When I was pregnant with my twins, I thought I could do it all. Eventually, I ended up in the hospital twice, and one of those visits ended with a blood transfusion.

    Take care of yourself and rest. Everyone will understand:)

    Hugs and Mocha,

  3. You’ll probably get a ton of comments, but I just wanted to say that I think you are doing the right thing. You are realizing when it’s all too much and you are cutting back. This is good. This is helpful. This is normal.

    You are a very busy bee and I worry about you getting enough rest. The first pregnancy is supposed to be the one where you relax and take your time getting stuff ready. Not stressing yourself out and fainting in grocery stores. You need some rest and I’m glad you are putting that first.

    I’m sure that everyone will be understanding and if they’re not, then f’em. You are doing what you think is best. End of story.

    I’m keeping you in my prayers that the rest of your pregnancy is as stress-free as possible. Get some rest. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Just food for thought regarding giving up babysitting. No, moms don’t get a day of rest, but you shouldn’t feel bad about cutting out babysitting in order to get a day of rest, because your day of rest now being pregnant is not the same as your day of rest when you weren’t pregnant.

    Also, you are already a mom! And most moms I know don’t babysit regularly, because they have their own someone to take care of. You have someone of your own to take care of, just because she’s still inside of you doesn’t make her any less your daughter, nor you any less of a mom!

  5. R&R seems hard to really understand for yourself but when you put it in the form of doing it for your baby you will find a way to get that much needed R&R.I have noticed the farther into my pregnancy the more I seem to take on. I asked my husband last night if I was crazy and why he thinks I am doing this, he was as culess as I was. We went to the doctors yesterday and she took my blood pressure was a little high, the nurse said it was the highest it could be before it becomes a concern. So I am trying to accomplish what I need to, enjoy what I love and find time to really sleep and rest.

    Good luck with that baby and make sure you get that rest.

  6. wow what a scare… good to hear you are ok. I have had a few fainting spells myself, but thankfully nothing like what you experienced at the store. At least you are lucky to be constantly surrounded by people… its such a blessing, even if a bit embarassing. Next time, send out the hubby for food! ๐Ÿ™‚ Take care of yourself!

  7. oh honey!!! You need to for sure slow down and take care of yourself and that baby!!! What a scare. So glad you’re ok. Rest up and keep us posted when you can ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. My goodness! That was scary…just reading it was nerve wracking. I think you are learning some great lessons here. I don’t know a single mom who feels she doesn’t have to sacrifice something or rearrange or re-prioritize needs and wants in her life. This is a good start. Not taking on more and even cutting some things back will help. Enjoy this first pregnancy because you’ll never have another pregnancy where you can choose to just relax. When you’re pregnant with another child it’s go go go time all the time. Also, don’t be embarrassed about needing to slow down. I loved how nice people were to me when I was pregnant. Use that to your advantage. You’re not being a drama queen and pregnancy IS a legitimate excuse for slowing down (or anything else in my book but I guess that makes me snobby). Try to remember to keep your blood sugar levels even. I used to faint almost every morning as a teenager because of low blood sugar and pregnancy can do the same to you. You’re already trying hard to be a good mom. Keep it up!!

  9. Sweetheart you need to slow down before you cause yourself and that beautiful girl growing in you harm. I cried a lot about bills when I was pregnant. I worked up until the day before I had the baby and went back two weeks after I had him. If I could change anything it would have been slowing down. Take time to enjoy the pregnancy because labor sucks (at least it did for me cuz I didn’t do any major pain meds). I think you are going to be okay…you seem like a really strong woman and you are going to be an amazing mom. Good luck!

  10. Take it easy! Your health and the baby’s health are whats important. I pass out easily if I don’t get enough rest and don’t eat food. I almost passed out on my wedding day while taking pictures. I’ve actually passed out in the temple when we were doing sealings…that was so embarrassing. So I know how you feel and when those feelings that you are about to pass out come on, go sit down and eat something. Take care of yourself!

  11. How scary!!! I surely hope you are feeling better now. I’ve never fainted, and I hope I never do. I’ve had some close calls while getting my blood drawn, but I’ve dodged that bullet so far. Take care of yourself, girl!!! Next time pass out in the car before you go into the store. ๐Ÿ™‚ And keep something to eat and drink with you at all times…and go to the hospital for IV fluids whenever you’ve thrown up. Seriously, it’s not worth it to wait and say “well let’s see” because you could already be dehydrated. *HUGS*

  12. Hey, girl! I hope you’re feeling better and letting go of some of those stress-inducing activities. I fainted once when I was taking a shower! Scary! At least I wasn’t in public! I was seriously stressed out about school. I had to re-prioritize and figure out what I could live without doing. And things got better! I hope they do for you too. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. I was on the edge of my seat reading this. I’m glad you were okay and your husband was able to come to your rescue. I think your plan to cut back will be very helpful. Good luck ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. I’m glad you’re doing OK – don’t feel like you have to be superwoman! No one can take on everything and function. Everyone needs down time and R&R. I hope you find a happy balance with work and personal life!

  15. I never had a fainting problem when I was pregnant. However, I have a friend who fainted at least twice a week until her third trimester when she was pregnant. Her husband refused to let her be alone. He was terrified no one would be there to help her. I think it’s good that you are scaling back and taking some time to rest before baby comes. You need all the rest you can get. A healthy body makes a healthy baby. If you’re constantly wearing yourself thin, you could keep getting sick, which isn’t good for either of you. Get some rest while you can. You’re going to miss it later!

  16. Jenn-

    Thank goodness you are looking out for yourself and your baby. I know how hard it can be to give up responsibilities at work. I too feel terribly – TERRIBLY – guilty when I have to call in sick or pass assignments along to others.

    The whole time I was reading this post, I could literally feel your pain and nausea. (Great writing!) With my health conditions, I periodically get many of these symptoms and I certainly understand that feeling of being in a public place knowing it’s a battle with the clock before something “embarrassing happens.” I frantically search to sit near someone I think would help me once I “go down,” a friendly-competent-face.

    The entire time I was reading this post, I also kept thinking, “stop blogging about it! Go to sleep! Rest. Please.”

    Although I’m sure you make a profit off of this blog, I started following you near the time you began writing it (sometime in late 2008.) I was fascinated by the fact that you were LDS, “career driven” and yet, had no kids at the time. (I have long been obsessed with the LDS church…and all it’s happenings.) lol.

    But I digress…I know for SERIOUS that I (and many of your other readers) would completely understand if you took a break from posting on this blog. Like a real break – a month or so?

    Regardless of what’s ahead in the coming weeks, please know that despite the amount of income this blog generates, YOU have profoundly affected the lives of many through your heartfelt words and public exploration regarding your parenting desires.

    I greatly appreciate all that you have ALREADY done, and all that we have yet to see of you!


  17. Oh no!!! I say its about time you took some things off your plate! I’ve passed out 3 times in my life, and each time was the scariest thing in the world for me! You’ve got to take care of yourself! I don’t know if this works for you, but the last time I almost passed out, I was in a restaurant, and I literally laid under the table on my back. It saved me from a fainting spell. I just want to hug you and help you in some way! I think we’ll all be ok if you need to cut some thing out. We’ll pray for you and your health.

  18. Oh poor mama! The last thing you need to think about is the cyber world. We will all manage. Just post a “Working on Making a Human thats kicking my butt – Will Return Soon Enough” banner one day and we will all come, read it, smile, say a little prayer for you, and reconnect when you’re ready. Fainting spells are not good when you even AREN’T pregnant, so I would suggest getting into your OB as soon as possible. Babies can have a strange way of letting us know of other underlying problems we might have had before they took up residence. Rest your feet. Luke warm baths and compresses, we’ll be here when you are ready lady. This is now the beginning of a long line of learning when to say no and this is too much for me, or baby, or family…It can be frustrating but it will be worth it when you realize that you’ve done everything in your power to ensure that you and “little you” are okay.

    My best, Lynn

  19. Girl why in the world are you trying to do so much! I know how you are feeling I was sick every day from the onset of my pregnancy. Every day until I delivered. I did not slow down. I developed toxemia then preeclampsia. They had to take my baby a month early. She was a little under weight and had jaundice but she was fine. I am not trying to scare you but I want you to be careful! Slow down! Like Stesha said this internet stuff isn’t important take care of you and spawnie!!! Love ya!!!

  20. So so sorry! That would be horrible.
    Found it so cute that your apologized that you were going to faint, poor girl.

    Yes and do what you need to for you! This blogging world while wonderful in it’s own ways, isn’t what truly matters at all.

  21. Oh girl, that is so scary! I can’t even imagine what it must be like to pass out. I’m so glad you are okay!

    Good for you for cutting back your schedule. You’ve always amazed me with the amount of time you have to tweet and blog, so it makes sense to me that you need to cut back on it. I feel like I have so little time for networking, because I’m barely getting by between work and taking care of things at home. And you have so much more on your plate than I do!

    Take a step back…take it easy and take care of that little girl of yours!!!

  22. I was pregnant twice and I completely understand. I got the stomach flu with BOTH of my girls and was in the hospital almost all of the time I was pregnant. We joke that I can write a medical dictionary at this point!! Just take care of yourself, rest, do something relaxing for yourself, etc… ๐Ÿ™‚ Other things will still be here when you have the time!

  23. I know you say you’ve fainted before. Have you ever had an EKG? Faiting is a symptom of Long QT Syndrome. My daughter has it. Just something to maybe get checked out if you haven’t had an EKG before.

  24. You do what is best for you and your baby, don’t worry about anything else. Your health is always the number one priority. Sending you lots of good wishes from here in the UK and hope you feel better soon xx

  25. Oh, Sweetie. I feel for you. I really hope you get better. Don’t worry about all the things you have to give up, because your health is the most important thing at the moment. We love reading your blog and the little you can deliver will be excellent. Hope you get better very soon. I will here if you need me. A big get well soon to you and the baby.

    I agree with CalgaryDaddy we can do some guest post for you if you need us to. xxxMsBabyPlan

  26. One of the most important things to remember about pregnancy is that you HAVE to take it slower the farther along you get. I know many women who are convinced they can do it all and end up sick. Just keep in mind that the more stressed out you are, the more it effects your blood pressure and you do NOT want to end up with pre-eclampsia because it could result in you having to deliver early.. Like, scary-early. So I think your plan to take it slower is not only acceptable but essential. It was hard for me to accept the fact that my body was getting more and more fatigued the farther along I went into pregnancy. I’m not one to ask for much help with anything so it was tough for me to let go of some of the control I had and slow down.

    Take care of yourself and that baby. *hugs*

  27. Good plan…cutting back. The only thing that matters is the health of you, your hubby and your baby…everything else is secondary to that. I just suffered a miscarriage, and the week before that I had a meltdown over money stress. I know the two aren’t related but I realized yesterday, what is truly important in life.

  28. There is a pregnant lady stomach virus going around. I had the same bug and so did a friend of mine, also pregnant.

    And my hubby, and 2 friends who weren’t pregnant. It must be very widespread!

    Relax and get better!

  29. Slow down woman! I totally need to take me own advice ๐Ÿ™‚ Do what you can and forget about the rest. I’m naturally a busy person too and with adding a blog to my life, its way busier. Though I’m not as busy as I used to be, I’ve taken processes out of my life and I am still trying to cut my TOO many responsibilites to where I only sleep 4 hrs. Relish your pregnancy, I wish I could go back to both of mine and take them in more.

  30. You are very busy and I know I wouldn’t be able to keep up with all that. I’m SO exhausted after teaching all day (I’m 28 weeks pg) and as soon as my 2 year old is in bed, I’m ready to pass out! I get ready for bed, read a few blogs, neglect my own blog, and fall asleep trying to watch one tv show.

    You can only do what you and your body can handle. Once your girl is here you’ll want to spend most of your time with her anyway. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Take care of you and your family first!

    Time to go do more laundry and try to clean up this messy house. ๐Ÿ™‚

  31. Hope you feel better soon and take care of yourself. Relax more….because you will not be able to have much time to do it when your bundle of joy comes.

  32. Dont you apologize to anyone! You are pregnant & working what 4 jobs? Plus trying to run a blog & take care of your marriage AND dog!?! You need to rest as much as possible! I say quit the MomTv show altogether….you are NOT superwoman, don’t try to be! You are just another human whose body is shutting down from way too much & it’s telling you that you need to take care of you AND your sweet baby girl!!!! I mean it missy take a frikkin break ๐Ÿ™‚ love ya!

  33. I am sorry you are having such a difficult pregnancy. I fainted once or twice but since I worked at home no one saw. Although in some ways that made it scarier. I was alone with a house full of kids.
    Just realize that no one is going to blame you for taking care of yourself first. Let me know if I can help somehow. If there is anything I can do to make things easier on you right now.

  34. I’m sorry to hear how tough things are for you right now! Pregnancy can be hard – even without any complications – and I definitely know where you’re coming from. Please know that you and your baby are in my thoughts and prayers. God bless!

  35. From a mother of two who always tries to have it all… I can only recommend that you slow down and cherish this time in your life that you have to relax. Plus, your baby’s health is more important than anything else ๐Ÿ™‚
    Stopping by from SITS…

  36. I nearly passed out once while pregnant. My ears started ringing to the point I couldn’t hear. My vision faded. It was sooo weird. Thankfully, I was able to sit down right before I blacked out. I know it’s scary. Get some rest.

  37. Sounds like you are a very BUSY girl! I think you need to settle down and take some time for yourself…go get a massage do prenatal yoga once a day..and try to relax. Pregnancy should be time for yourself when everyone pampers you..soon enough it will be all about the baby. For now it should be all about you!

  38. Jen, I nearly cried reading your post. I remember it like yesterday. I was pregnant in 2004, living in Florida where we were slammed by 2 direct hit hurricanes plus the effects of several more. I was working for a major utility, and as part of my job expected to work 12-14 hour days until power was restored to our customers.

    We had been working crazy hours mostly 7 days per week for several weeks and one morning (7 1/2 months pregnant) I realized I hadn’t felt the baby move that day. It was 11 am and I’d been up since 5. I was terrified.

    I had put all this pressure on myself to do as much as everyone else. I also knew I’d be returning to work after FMLA maternity leave, and was trying to keep a good impression of my work ethic.

    All I could think to myself was: my baby is dead because I prioritized work. Thank God I was wrong and she was ok.
    But as I read this post, it all came flooding back. I hear where you’re coming from.
    Take care. Karen

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