One of the things they don't tell you about pregnancy is how susceptible you become to pulling your abdominal muscles with the slightest movement. A simple sneeze, getting out of a chair the wrong way, or even walking too briskly all put me at risk of abdominal pain.
Friday morning saw me in a hurry to get to my aqua aerobics class. I was walking across campus, and I must have done something to displease my muscles, because I started to notice a pain in my right side. An hour in the pool only intensified the pain, and by the afternoon every step caused a grimace. Saturday was an absolutely gorgeous day, and I couldn't resist a quick hike in the woods with NewGirl and the Princess Pup. All was going relatively well until we headed down a hill. By the time we got back to the car, I had exclaimed out loud several times. I spent the rest of the day very quietly, and I sent fish out with the dog this morning. This afternoon I dared to make a trip to the store (bad idea) and just before sunset, we took the dog for our "short loop" (~1/2 mile). At exactly the half way point, the muscle pulled again and I limped home, stopping to bend over periodically, and noticing that my back was getting rather sore to compensate for the bad posture.
Other than not moving at all for the next several days (sure!), I'm not sure how to make things feel better, so I guess I'll give the doctor a call tomorrow when I get a chance. I'd like to know if its okay to use a hot pack on the abdomen or whether that would raise the baby's temperature too much.
The other main ache of the weekend came in the form of fish's job stress. I haven't blogged much about his job situation, but basically what started as an ideal career job has degenerated into a lousy retail position with a sort-of title but no responsibility or authority and long hours on his feet. There's also no promotion potential within the company because everyone in the store has more seniority than him. This sounds like the recipe to start looking for another job, but because of where this one started, he actually makes more than he could in retail elsewhere and the career-type positions for which he is qualified are almost universally require 1+ hour commutes each way. So he feels dissatisfied and trapped, and I feel like there is nothing I can do to help make it better. We can't go without his income; we aren't making ends meet as is. Which of course is another big source of stress for both of us right now. At this point our options are for fish to get a second job, trim expenses significantly (and all the easy trimming has been done), or to deplete our savings indefinitely.
Which is why I spent my afternoon/evening applying for jobs. As far as I can figure at this point, I've got until about June to land a tenure-track or other permanent job in academia or government research. At that point, I'm going to have to call it quits and start looking for industry jobs. It seems sort of harsh, but we sure as hell as can't afford to stay here and getting another post-doc somewhere else would only put fish in limbo for another couple of years. And that's not fair to him.
So it's too bad that the job ads seem to be slim pickings this year. Ideally, I'd only be applying to places that were a good match professionally and/or geographically, but instead I feel like I've got to go after anything that wouldn't make me miserable (I am not meant for a 4-4 teaching load somewhere in the hinterlands of Texas). So today finds me revamping my cover letter and research interests to fit into with the liberal arts college philosophy and pondering how I would contribute to diversity on campus.
This coming week is a busy one, so at least I've gotten a jump start on prof. me's "all complaining monday."