Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Doctor Central

First, thank you all SO MUCH for your very kind and supportive posts. I can't tell you what they have meant to me. We have kept the whole reduction thing very close to our vest in real life (not wanting the twins to hear about it from someone else down the line), so the support I have received from my online friends has been very precious to me. Thank you!!!

Now for all the news that fits:

This week is Doctor Central for me. I have (or have had) appointments on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. On Monday I saw my new OB, mostly to chat, and also saw a social worker (Nurse Hardly Useful conned me into that one). Today I had a followup ultrasound from CPMC, at their satellite office here in town, and on Friday I will see a female OB/Gyn for a Pap smear, breast exam, and another ultrasound. Oh, and I also have an appointment with a nutritionist on Friday.

Joy, joy, joy .... I really am not keen on going to the doctor at any time, so this cluster of appointments has not been my idea of a good time. But thanks to the Phobease class I took a couple of years ago, I can get through them all without major upsets. (I am happy to say that Howie Liebgold changed my life! :)

The followup ultrasound today went smoothly, although the events leading up to it were a trifle bumpy. Today dawned a bit rainy and cool (the start of our "rainy season" here, and I'm just as glad to see it arrive, though it means the end of my hair holding a curl until next spring). I slept in late, then had to rush around to get ready in time, of course. I grabbed the envelope from CPMC that had the instructions on how to get there -- and discovered it was a different envelope altogether from a different organization, so where the hell was the CPMC envelope? I still haven't solved that mystery. But some of my brain cells must have been working at some point this last week, since I had taken the time to scribble the address on my calendar, so I was able to use Yahoo! maps to find it.

Amazingly enough (my friends sometimes call me "the late Mrs. Fauxvert"), I arrived for my appointment 15 minutes early. This made me feel pleasantly virtuous. I found a parking spot about 150 feet from the office, gathered my halo of virtue together, walked over -- and found that the door was locked. Eh? What gives? I banged on the door. No go. Banged again. Obviously no one there. Apparently they had all left for a leisurely lunch.

All my virtue evaporated in a hail of very naughty language. The one time in my life I'm early, and there's no one there to appreciate it? What the fuck?! My bulging belly had already started to complain, and there was nowhere to sit. I tried leaning against a stair railing and found I was getting misted on. I finally gave up and waddled back to the van.

When I came back about ten minutes later, I found a small crowd, everyone with the same question -- where the hell was the office staff? We all had a nice little venomous chat about that, and at a couple of minutes after the hour, someone finally arrived to open the door. I just hope CPMC calls me again to ask me if I'm satisfied with their customer service. Hah!

The actual ultrasound was uneventful (though fascinating), compared with the little drama before it. However, I found it unnerving to see the two reduced fetuses still sitting there -- though of course, I had known in advance that would be the case. It was still very odd and sad. Two little Banquo's ghosts, curled up in there. Not pleasant.

However, I am relieved and pleased to report that the other two (C and D, as they were labeled) are still in place, moving around, hearts beating properly (both of them at 153 bpm), and on target for growth. The tech said they were about 3 inches long each -- about the size of a newborn kitten, I judge. They were both obligingly turned toward the wand (or whatever you call the ultrasound thingy, the one they rub all over your belly), and so we got very good photos of their little faces. This both pleased me, and terrified me. The pleased part is obvious, I think. The terrified part comes from not knowing what the amnio will tell us (now scheduled for October 23). What if it tells of dire things? How would I ever have the courage to terminate one, having seen its little face? But how would I have the courage to face taking care of a severely handicapped child? I am not known for my Mother Teresa-like patience, or an overabundance of self-abnegation. I could take care of a handicapped child if forced into it -- but I know I would be resentful and angry, maybe for a lifetime.

I am praying a lot, these days.

On a much lighter note, yesterday I received a catalog from J.Jill, a clothier I've never paid any attention to before. But I flipped through the catalog and discovered many very pretty things -- most of them made for skinnier people than me, at the moment. But amongst the many skinny-people things, I found a unique jacket that looked like it had been made for an exceptionally stylish preggo lady. Among its other virtues, it has an inverted pleat in back that adds a good extra six inches of material. (The web site doesn't show the jacket's back, though the catalog does.) After getting done with the ultrasound appointment, I tracked the coveted jacket to its lair (the local J.Jill store), tried it on in the vicuna color, and saw that it was good. Getting carried away, I also bought a verrrrry cuddly-feeling berry colored zip-front sweater that was on sale. Whee! Perhaps it is possible after all to be a pregnant beached whale and not be a complete fashion victim. One can hope.

Just to skim lightly over my Monday appointments, my new OB seems pretty knowledgeable, and a nice guy. He had, however, a very odd tic -- or something. From the moment he walked in, he was blinking quite a bit, and when he was going on at length about the plan for tracking my pregnancy (in brief, I will be seeing him more and more often as the pregnancy wears on), he would close his eyes as he talked. I have no idea if he had just sprayed alcohol in his eyes and had to wash them out, if the light was hurting them, or if it was some sort of physical or psychological tic. But for the nonce, he will be known as Dr. Blinky.

The social worker was a pleasant surprise. Judging from the posters on her office walls, my HMO is on a crusade to make sure that no slightest bit of domestic disturbance goes untracked (thus, I think, Nurse Less Than Helpful's insistence that I see the social worker). The SW and I had a nice little chat, and when she asked what my major concern was at the moment, I told her that basically, I'm clueless about how to take care of babies. I have changed exactly one diaper in my life, and that's the sum total of my interaction with babies so far. She obligingly gave me about a dozen publications from various groups around town that apparently are slavering for the chance to teach me exactly how one diapers, etc. After we get over this hurdle of the amnio, I actually plan to sign up for some of the classes.

I realize I've left out the new chapter of the Prodigal Cat that got added to this week, but that will have to wait a bit (and I might have more to add in a day or two, anyway). I tell you, the worst thing about pregnancy is that it is DAMNED TIRING. I have been sitting here doing nothing but type and I'm ready to fall over.

More soon.


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