Monday, October 16, 2006

A Mixed Bag

I had thought this post would be mostly Good Things -- but then Monday rolled around (as it usually does, darn it) with its truckload of discontent. But first things first.

On Friday, I met with a new female doc at my HMO, whom I think I will call Dr. Girlish. Not “girlish” in a bad way, but she had a bubbly personality, and she was also rather slight and girlish in her personal appearance. She also seemed highly competent and very friendly – a nice combination.

Dr. Girlish did a quick manual exam of my cervix and pronounced it just fine, though to be certain, she wanted to get an ultrasound of it. I pointed out that I was heading down to Radiology for an ultrasound next, so couldn’t we combine them? Great idea, she said, and after deciding she wasn’t quite sure how to get that into the HMO computer system (since she is new there), she wrote me a little note to give to the u/s tech. I felt like I was back in grade school, though in a good way. I almost expected the note to have a gold star on it! (I love it when docs make me feel taken care of, as opposed to feeling that I’m being bossed around. I know there’s a fine line there, but Dr. Girlish seemed to know where that line was located.) Dr. Girlish also knows Dr. Enterprise, so we had a little gossip (a very little) about her, and that was kind of fun.

I had sat there chugging the required 16 oz of bottled water throughout my chat with Dr. G, so I was primed for the u/s. Again, I got lucky, since Oscar turned out to be my tech for this u/s. (Oscar not being his real name – but he introduced himself by another first name which has the same ambience. So Oscar he is.) I had actually chatted with Oscar at length on the phone, several weeks back when I scheduled my 19w Level II ultrasound, and I had some notion at that point that it might replace the amniocentesis. On the phone, he had explained in depth what they look for with the 19w u/s, and also explained that amnio is usually done before that, so although it is possible to flip the scheduling around and do the Level II first, that’s not the usual way to go about it. (And later, after our talk with Dr. Tex following the reduction, D and I decided we wanted the amnio anyway.)

In any case, I felt as though I knew Oscar already. He was very professional, very friendly, and took time to explain what we were looking at and what he was measuring on the screen. Also, he was able to get a good image of the cervix with the belly ultrasound, so I didn’t have to put up with any wanding nonsense. (The cervix was just perfect, I was told: nice and long and closed like it should be.)

But best of all, Oscar let me look at the babies! All the ultrasounds I’ve had to this point have been rather no-nonsense. There was a lot to examine and only so much time to do it, so the techs would zero in on their target, freeze it and snap the photo, then move on. My looks at the babies had been pretty brief. But Oscar actually sat there and let me watch them, for maybe a minute or so each, and it was an astounding experience. They move! They’re really alive and -- literally -- kicking in there! As well as yawning, stretching their little backs like tiny kittens, even waving at their misty-eyed Mommy. There was something about their movements that suddenly made it incredibly real. I suppose this seems obvious to the reader (what did I think I had in there, My Little Pony?), but so often, the whole thing has seemed academic. I have been going on the premise that there are potential children in there, as opposed to the real belief. But now -- now I know.

And what I found out about myself is that I have been one unhappy camper lately, because the rush of incredible happiness was like taking heroin. I didn’t realize how depressed I had been until suddenly I was not. I felt pounds and years lighter. As I left the appointment, I could not stop smiling. I avoided meeting the eyes of other people in the parking lot because I could feel myself grinning like a dolphin, and I thought I might startle them. (Dolphins always have that goofy little grin, don’t they? Makes you wonder what they know that we don’t.)

I felt so good that I just couldn’t go straight home, so I went ... shopping! No, actually, I did very little shopping, but I did get my hair trimmed (much needed) and I bought a lovely little cherry-red roll-brim hat knitted out of Polartec. No cold noggin for me this year!

The high persisted for a while, then wore off a bit, as highs have a way of doing. (Or so I am told. Actually, I am one of the few people in my generation who never did any illicit drugs at all, ever.) But I also had a lovely time on Sunday. Terry Pratchett, a very well-known author in the UK (I believe he has sold something on the order of 45 million volumes of fiction) was in town on his latest book tour, and a local store was hosting a signing. My husband and I once had the privilege, at a science fiction convention, of taking Mr. Pratchett to lunch. And I say the privilege, because I am just bonkers about his fiction. He uses his comic fantasy to make very salient points about the world we really live in, and I love the fact that he can simultaneously make me laugh until my tummy hurts, and also make me think hard about real issues. I also love the fact that he is a disciplined wordsmith, and instead of getting lazy and churning out any old thing because he knows he can sell it no matter what, he obviously works hard at making each new book better than the last. (A great book to start with is Pratchett’s collaboration with Neil Gaiman, titled GOOD OMENS. His latest work, the third of a very good series, is called WINTERSMITH.)

So we got to hear him speak, and stood in line to have our books signed, and while I suppose this is a pleasure that only the true bibliophile can understand, it was indeed a pleasure. And when we reminded him, he even remembered our meeting him and taking him to lunch, which I find rather remarkable since that was several years ago.

So Sunday was good.

But Sunday night was not good. D and I ended up getting into a totally ridiculous fight over ridiculous things, and I said things to him that I’ve never said before and should never have said then. Granted, his acting like a jerk was what set me off. But my reaction far outstripped his jerkiness. It was like reacting to a slingshot with the A-bomb. And while I can blame some of this on the Raging Pregnancy Hormones of Death, I have to admit that mostly it was plain old orneriness.

But this morning was worse. D was up and gone to work before I rolled out of bed, and he left a terse and angry note on the kitchen table which made me realize how deeply I had hurt his feelings. And the more I thought about it, the worse I felt. We have been married for 15 years, and while he occasionally has a Male Moment, mostly he has been nothing but kind and loving. Yesterday was a good example. The book signing was in a part of town I wasn’t familiar with, and I didn’t want to go by myself. I didn’t feel very good yesterday, and I was afraid there would be a lot of standing around (difficult for me at this point, since I get worn out), and basically I just didn’t want to go by myself. But D had other things to do, and while he enjoys Pratchett’s fiction, he’s not the fanatic I am. But because I whined and complained and cajoled, he went, just to make me happy.

Just to make me happy.

As I sat there, feeling about the size of a small toad, the phone rang. I hoped it was D, but it was a nurse from my HMO, letting me know –- guess what! I flunked the three-hour blood glucose test too! I have gestational diabetes! Yippee! Sigh ... as if I needed anything to depress me further. She let me know that I would need to consult with their nutritionist about changing my diet, and also I would be learning from one of their nurses how to check my blood levels, FOUR times a day. With one of those ouchy things you stick in your fingers. Did I mention yet that I am NOT looking forward to this? Needles are a walk in the park compared with what is essentially a glorified paper cut. I hate, loathe and despise paper cuts. Nothing hurts worse, except maybe a canker sore on your lip.

These freakin’ kids had better get into Radcliffe. Or maybe Harvard. On scholarship. Wait, make that full scholarship.

I’m just sayin’.

As for me, the minute I got off the phone I burst into tears. The whole thing was too much. First the wretched knowledge of my own transgression, and now this. And it’s not just the sticking my fingers thing either, but the prospect of trying to figure out an entirely different way of eating. All day today, I would go to eat something (even something completely innocuous, like cottage cheese) and remember, oh, I’m not supposed to have that. Frankly, I just don’t see how a diabetic diet is viable for pregnancy, especially with twins. How am I supposed to gain enough weight for them, when a diabetic diet (as I understand it at this point) is essentially the South Beach Diet?

I hope that all will be revealed tomorrow, with the snippy little nutritionist I had before. Guess we’ll see about that.

After bursting into tears, I headed to the computer and emailed an abject apology to my honey. (Will I still be able to type when my fingers look like hamburger?) And lo, a little while later, he called, and all was forgiven.

And once I stopped crying, I got on Am*zon and found a couple of books on managing gestational diabetes. So those will be here in a few days too. And also, gestational diabetes is generally not a permanent condition, and resolves by a few weeks after birth. So we’re not looking at something permanent here. Well, probably.

So things appear to be straightening out, as much as possible.

But my goodness, it’s been twisty around here lately.


Blogger Thalia said...

Ugh, I do that to my husband too, and I don't have your excuse. I think (I hope) that you both just need to apologise to each other, and resolve to try and be more considerate next time (yes, I know, we do that all the time too, it only helps a little tiny bit).

But Yaay for those lovely looking babies you've got in there, and for Mr Pratchett being cool and remembering you, that is a sign of great class. I have to say I stopped reading discworld novels about 10 books ago as I felt they were becoming a bit same-y, so I'm surprised to hear you say you think they improve each time. My favourite is still the first one I read, Equal Rites.

3:42 AM  
Blogger casey said...

Hey, if you did have My Little Pony in there, my daughter might want to move in with you. No, just kidding. She'd only do that if you had Little People. Oh wait! You do! Just not the Fisher Price version. Okay, forget it. She's staying here.

Hey #2, is Neil Gaiman the Neil that Tori Amos is friends with? A weird question, I'm sure, but I'll throw it out there all the same.

Sorry about the GD. Take good care of yourself, although I don't envy you the finger pricks. (Or any other kind of pricks, for that matter.)

12:01 PM  

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