it’s no surprise to me I am my own worst enemy*

Yesterday was one of the most stressful days of my pregnancy thus far, and I didn’t truly realize it until today.

I have this fear of needles. When I was a child, it sometimes took two nurses to hold me down and pry my fist apart so they could prick my finger. So, I’ve been ridiculous all along.  I’m obviously not that bad about it now — I just have to look away and breathe deeply. But I still can feel my blood pressure rise when I walk into the lab for a blood draw. It really just stresses me out.

I had to go in for the standard glucose tolerance test yesterday.  For the uninitiated, that means that you sit down in the lab and drink a very sweet drink designed to test your body’s response to sugar. Then, an hour later, they draw your blood and check the sugar levels. At my doctor’s office, during that hour wait you have your normal doctor’s appointment.

I downed the sickly-sweet drink and went in for my appointment – urine sample, weigh-in, and blood pressure check. My blood pressure came back pretty high — which is very unusual for me. The nurse left the room and I tried to relax and breathe, and not think about anything (i.e. the needle that they would be using in less than an hour to draw my blood, the possibility that I could have gestational diabetes which would result in me having to stick myself to check my blood sugar and even possibly use insulin, etc.).  The doctor came in a few minutes later and checked my blood pressure again, and it was normal.

I’m fairly certain that I had unknowingly worked myself up to the point of raising my blood pressure.  This resulted in extra blood being drawn for extra tests, extra steps to the usual examination, and an extra appointment scheduled in one week instead of two — the doctor wanted to make sure I wasn’t exhibiting symptoms of pre-eclampsia.  All because I was worried about gestational diabetes and the potential for having to stick myself — a fear which turned out to be totally unfounded because, as I found out this morning, my glucose numbers looked great.

After suffering through last night with being upset and getting very little sleep (and googling pre-eclampsia and eclampsia — here’s a tip: DON’T), I got a call from the doctor’s office that said my other labs looked great too. So no pre-eclampsia concerns at this time. I am just a bit anemic, and need to add an additional iron supplement to my daily round of vitamins. That’s it.

*insert huge sigh and maybe some tears of relief*

Sometimes, I just need to learn to relax and not worry so much. Then again, that’s kind of like telling the sky not to be blue.



*Post title from My Own Worst Enemy by Lit


like a petulant four year old

I’m having one of those days.

You know the type of day I’m talking about: you can’t get anything done to save your life because that thing you had to finish ended up taking forever, you drive an hour each way to get work done on your car and spend six hours in a town you don’t know only to get home later than planned without the work being completed because the service manager didn’t tell you that he needed both keys with the car in order to program the remote start, you try to work remotely but the wifi connection is so crappy that you keep getting disconnected and are only slightly productive anyway, and you come home to realize that the stack of dishes next to the sink means that it’s your turn for that lovely little chore.

I am cranky.  If you’ll excuse me, I’m off to act like a petulant four year old and throw a temper tantrum.  Or maybe I’ll just settle for a giant bowl of peppermint ice cream . . .

seven little days

I’m not sure how we got here so quickly, and at the same time, I’m not sure how it took so long. In a week, I will be leaving home for Des Moines to attend orientation for the bar exam. And probably will be trying to not go crazy.

It seems as though the summer has flown by, in the sense that I only have a week left and don’t particularly feel anywhere near ready to sit down and take the bar exam. I’ve had a lot on my plate this summer, between visiting family and two weddings. But I don’t feel any less prepared. I managed to basically stay in line with the paced program all summer — even when I got behind I caught back up. I’ve put the time in, so hopefully all will be fine.

On the other hand, there were days that felt as though they would never end — and every last one of them had a lecture to watch. Sitting down on Monday was always so brutal, knowing that I had five whole days worth of lecture to get through that week. I’ve kind of enjoyed the time since the lectures ended because I’ve always viewed studying as a solitary activity. Groups can distract me, and make me focus on things I don’t need to review. Now it is just me and my books, flashcards, and practice questions.

I’ve been vascillating between confidence and absolute self-doubt, but so have most people I know. Bar prep has truly been a roller coaster ride, and with Barbri in particular, I kind of feel like they do that to you on purpose. It’s just enough to scare you into knowing that you have to work really hard or your chance of failing goes up exponentially.

This is truly crunch time — there are seven little days between me and the bar exam, and I have a lot of work to do. I’ve got this.

I think.

barbri day twenty eight: a little bit of perspective never hurt anyone

Two months ago, I posted this little gem. A friend recently reminded me of the post, and I would like to specifically quote the end of what I said here:

To my anxious, tired, and stressed-out self, come late June: You’ve come a long way, baby. Count yourself as lucky to have enjoyed the ride!

Funny how I knew what I was going to be experiencing, and just the advice necessary to remind me what all of this is truly for. While this summer has been incredibly ridiculous thus far, and will continue to be for the next month, I have to keep plugging away. It will be worth it in the end, and everything I’ve done so far has led up to this.

Twenty five days until the first day of the bar exam.

barbri day twenty five: well THAT was fun

I took the full-day practice multiple choice test today, and can’t believe how much my back, neck, and wrist hurt from just filling in 200 bubbles. Oh, and sitting there for six hours. And underlining, circling, and noting things in the margin. Maybe that has something to do with it. At least I know what it is like now, but I’m really not looking forward to MBE day of the bar exam. Or the other day of the bar exam, really.

I am thankful that I’ll have the opportunity to see where I am in terms of my own strengths and weaknesses, and that I at least scored above average. (Seriously a huge source of stress and worry over the last few days!!) These past several weeks have made me feel repeatedly defeated, lost, and down on myself and my abilities. Today’s exercise has restored my self-confidence a bit, but it is certainly tempered with the knowledge that I have a lot of work to do over the next 27 days.

There are five more substantive lectures left in addition to a two-day analysis of the test I took today and an MPT workshop – and then I am on my own to learn as much as I can for a couple of weeks. Here goes nothing!

Barbri day sixteen: the one that feels like day sixteen hundred

My fingers are calloused. I’ve killed three ink pens. My right pinky goes numb on occasion. By the end of the day I am grumpy, and unfocused. I find things unreasonably annoying, or unreasonably funny — there is no middle ground. I consider showering a welcome break. And lunch, too. I’m never really sure what day of the week it is because they all blend together. The rainy, cold weather has banished me to the indoors, and I am going slightly stir crazy. I feel as though I can’t possibly remember nearly enough to pass this ridiculous exam.


It must be just over three weeks into bar preparation.


Please send warm thoughts, caffeine, and notecards.

Dear BarBri,

Take your shipment of my bar study materials, and well . . . use your imagination. I have a paper to finish, two finals to take, and a graduation to attend before I can even BEGIN to think about the contents of that package.

Sincerely, the girl who is just not ready for you yet