Dr. Fabulous emailed me jauntily this morning: "Numbers still going up. See attachment. Go ahead and schedule ultrasound." EXCEPT that the attachment was of the old test. And she hasn't emailed me back yet. And I called the test results line oh, about three o'clock, and haven't gotten a call back yet.
I am thinking very seriously about taking my frustration out on the office answering machine. Bad idea? Sigh.
If this baby is a sticky one (a term that is kind of...hmph, because it makes me think of toddlers, and aren't they all sort of sticky? But then if the Radish Seed or whatever food-themed size rubric we're using makes it to sticky-handed toddlerhood, it's all good in the hood, I guess) then I'm going to feel like the supporting characters in the early '80s version of Left Behind I was forced to watch at some fundie friend's youth group. Except instead of being raptured away from my quickly soggifying Post Toasties or mah jongg or riding lawnmower-ing, I will leave undone a headful of dental work (look, y'all, if you hadn't bumped my appointment, you would have been free to x-ray my head. Now, not so much), a tattoo sort of in need of touch-ups, and...well, I don't even know what to think about school. So I will put a chemistry book in one ear, and a biology book in the other, and sing LA LA LA until a baby falls out of my hoo-ha. Preferably in late December. Before that would be a rather less desirable outcome. And not just because of finals.
I love my doctor. I love the other doctors in the practice. I love the way the place works, and I love the majority of the staff. I love even more that Dr. Fabulous will go ahead and order my repeat betas and at least one ultrasound without booting me unceremoniously referring me to some unknown quantity of an OB.
I also loved the phlebotomist's disbelief at having to draw A THIRD BETA on me today. "Same test?" she asked, sounding a little irritated. "Yep," I said, offering a fresh vein, and that was that. Only a person who's spent four mornings a week for seven thousand hundred weeks waiting for a needle stick for the same test could find that interaction funny (or maybe one of her readers), but, yeah. We take our yuks where we can get 'em.
Speaking of yuks: third beta due back tomorrow. At which point we'll decide when to send me in for the ultrasound. This is one time I hate not dealing with an RE -- because it'll be that bullshit rigamarole where a tech does the U/S, and can't tell you what he/she is seeing, and the radiologist has to review it and report to your doctor, and it'll be under six weeks so there won't be a heartbeat and of course nobody is an RE and will look all downcast and morose because they don't do six million ultrasounds a day on 5w5d fetal poles and they just think OH GOD IT'S DEAD and bolt from the room. And instead of a week of peaceful waiting, I will have to ask an acupuncturist to just please leave the stress-reducing needles in my face, if you don't mind, and I'll pull them out myself next Thursday after we get some real answers.
Not that I've been rehearsing things in my head.
I'll let you know if actual events jibe with imaginary scenario.
154! That's a doubling time of 1.5 days. Or about 37 hours.
So far, so good. (((cupcakes)))** to all y'all who are helping me stay peaceful about the whole deal.
Also, (((cupcakes))) to my doctor's office -- not only did my main doctor email me at 6 a.m. on Saturday (before I went in for bloodwork) to tell me she'd let me know right away, but the doctor who covers her on weekends noticed that the labwork was back, and called me on a Sunday morning!
*If the post title makes no sense to you, refer to comments on the last post.
**Come on, wouldn't you rather have a (((cupcake))) than a (((hug)))?
Do you know what happens when you image Google "space suit chimp"? You get Planet of the Apes stills, you get really sad pictures of Enos the first chimp in space, and you get one absolutely horrifying thing. Either way, you are forced to confront the total lack of ethics humans exhibit toward other primates. And are left with a lot of unanswered questions about the utility of the space program in this day and age.
So there will be no cosmonaut chimpanzee to bring you this.
* * * * * * * * * * *
Yeah. I don't even fucking know either.
I wish the lines would get reassuringly darker, but they aren't complying. Waiting on beta #1 (can you believe somebody won't just take my word for it and order me up an ultrasound? The audacity!).
* * * * * * UPDATED TO ADD: If you are a family member, or are dating a family member, please please please keep this on the down-low when it comes to the rest of the family (like, um, parents). Y'all get the Inside Edition, and I'm not ready to take it to the front page of the Times, know what I'm sprayin'?
Judging by, oh, every single conversation I've ever had with another mother, including the ones that take place in passing at the supermarket checkout, most of us have a Nice Mommy in our heads. Sometimes she looks like us, in shiny veneer form, but usually she's crossing her arms and shaking her head at us. Sometimes she admits to a martini by 6 p.m., after a day spent watching our bumbling maternal shenanigans, but you know, most of the time she's belting something clear straight out the bottle.
The bottle is plastic. It has a handle.
In other words: Most mamas worth talking to have Dirty Little Secrets -- we lead secret or not-so-secret lives of sloppy mothering, lick-and-a-promise housekeeping, not to mention lick-and-a-promise wifey-ing. (That dirty little joke is heterocentric. So's the book, kiddies. Just FYI.) When I saw that a mother in the book confessed to letting her kids (spoiler alert!) eat Milk Bones from the box, I felt an upwelling of kindred spirit. Or maybe it was just the roiling scotch. Anyway. I had to read it.
Each page contains one secret, ordered (arbitrarily, far as I can tell) from dirty to dirtier to dirtiest. Some were familiar to me already (Dear Milk Bone Lady: I buy the organic pet food...not so much for the pets, if you catch my drift), and some struck me as terribly good ideas ("I take like four showers a day. Because showers are allowed." And they are, you know. You can let your child watch six hours straight of PBS while rolling in a heap of Veggie Booty if you are taking a shower. Everyone knows that). Those secrets don't strike me as particularly dirty, though maybe I'm just crazy liberated. Or openly sloppy. One of the two. Anyway, others were a little more interesting, less funny -- mothers afraid to spend more than an hour or so with three kids, alone -- because they comment quite handily on the state of mothering in our culture (going to work is sometimes preferable to mothering? Well, I don't see why not. America don't make it easy on us). Whether funny or illuminating, about half the Secrets were fun as heck to read.
A good handful of them veered off into Dirty Little Wifely Secrets, though. I didn't enjoy those nearly so much, not least because I couldn't figure out what they were doing in the book. Secretly ogled the "hot handyman"? "Hate the way (your) husband chews"? All well and good (or not so), but not a thing to do with mothering. Husband Gripes is a tedious game, especially when we could be "listen[ing] to hip-hop in the car with [our] kids in the back," swear words and all.
There's one dirty little secret in there that's a little bit dirtier than the rest, and that gave me pause when I read it. "I've never admitted this to anyone else," says the anonymous mother, "but I have pinched my daughter's arms so hard I leave a mark." Look, we all make mistakes. I have had the good fortune to do so on a busy street while surrounded by strangers and friends with typepad accounts.* But I'm hoping this was a one-time thing, with this anonymous mama -- although the phrasing does not reassure me. I wonder what editors Ashworth and Nobile were thinking when they put that one in.
That said, I do like very much the idea of coming clean about the shortcuts we take and the subterranean thoughts we harbor. Partly because it's funny -- who doesn't love a "three-year-old girl (who) keeps going up to complete strangers and asking, 'Do you want to see my penis?'" -- but also because it keeps us from falling into the trap this anonymous mother describes: "I look at every mother and I assume that they're a much better mother than I am." Let's not knock ourselves down, mamas. The rest of the world is only too happy to do it for us.
To that end: MotherTalk is hosting a contest. Share your own dirty little secret by May 1, and maybe you'll get $25 to spend on Amazon (for the Grand Prize winner -- three others can win a free copy of Dirty Little Secrets). Just promise you won't spend it on kids' books.
*In case you are curious: I was bitten hard on the back (kid in backpack) and swatted at her leg in a "get it off me!" gesture. While yelling. Judge away.
Stop the presses! For the first time in her life, Sophia fell asleep while watching Baby Einstein. (The Beethoven one -- all music, no talking.) Poor kid was wiped out from a morning at LLL playing with another girl, and then an hour at the park. Now she's all squished onto the sofa. Hee.
So, um, sometimes I have these dreams. Not very often -- maybe once a year, sometimes even less -- but they're not like my other dreams (which may involve such disparate and unappetizing topics as Steve Gutenberg getting a boner, and waking up one morning to discover I have glitter-encrusted teeth). No, these dreams have a hyper-real quality to them; colors are super-saturated, actions are experienced as they are in real life -- not as though from a movie camera, but confusing, blurring, difficult to parse in the moment. The dreams lack the wending storyline of an ordinary dream, coming in snatches and jump cuts as quick as the most attention-span-frying television show.
Sometimes they're okay and sometimes they're horrifying, but they always are linked with tremendous pulses of emotion. And always, always, they bring a message. Sometimes they foretell. Sometimes they bring me current news that I have no way of knowing. But there's always truth inside them.
Here's an example: the first one I ever had, I dreamed about what would later turn out to be my first kiss. I saw a flash of a church and stained glass windows, blue sky above -- but from the perspective of straight upwards along the sheer wall, looking right at the sky. I saw (in a jump cut) storm clouds, and a tornado. I felt that jittery stomach I got around certain boys. And that was it.
So months later, I am spending a fair amount of time in a youth group setting with a certain boy (oh, he has a website, and y'all would get a kick out of it if I put his name in. I will NOT.). We both end up teaching kids' classes in Bible School that summer. One day, before the big final program, we decided to take a walk around the outside of the church. There were woods behind, and fields, but we walked around to the front -- I'd never been there -- near the edge of the road. He suggested we go look at the stained glass windows, and we ended up lying on our backs in the grass with our feet up on the wall, looking up at the sky. My brain just about shorted out when I felt the dream-world snap into place with the real world.
After we'd gotten the kids through the song about how the Lord said to Noah there was gonna be a floody floody, we noticed the clouds gathering. Soon the tornado sirens went off, and everyone was herded down to the basement. Boy convinced me to disappear with him into a Sunday school classroom, where, after much hemming and hawing and jittery stomach on my part, I experienced my first kiss.
Everything from the dream was in the experience -- but the dream was not the entirety of the experience. Written out like this it loses impact, because the most important feature of the dreams is the feel of them. They feel exactly like a memory breaking through -- the kind you don't necessarily want to remember. The emotions are intense -- elation, terror, profound unease. Certain details appear, others are left out. I've had regular intense dreams before, but these just don't even compare.
(Oh, and I'm kind of realizing as I write, and please do not laugh, that based on my one viewing of the show Medium, this is almost exactly the way it happens for that nice Patricia Arquette and her, you know, psychic screenwriters.)
What I want to know is: Do you have dreams like this? Crazy ones that come true? Flashes when you're awake? What is UP with that?
Sophia is taking a "nap" in the other room, although frankly there are a lot of clanking sounds coming from that direction. And now someone, I can't imagine who, is rattling the door like an unjustly accused character in a bad prison play. Hmm.
So here's this, about bisphenol A and how the powers that be are kinda sorta waking up to how awful it is. Props to Canada too. May we look forward to a world in which we are not assaulted by hormone mimickers at every turn. Amen. And thanks to Sonya and Ann for the tip.
Um, what else...well, I have just a couple things to do (complete project outline for class tonight, prepare for LLL meeting, go to store and buy #%@&! goat milk that seems to be out of stock everywhere, make supper, clean house just a teeny bit) by 6 p.m. so I'm gonna run, but I'll leave you with this note that I have written in my head to the usually awesome parental denizens of our neighborhood park.
When I am watching three children under age 3 at the park, and one of them drops a truck that one of your kids left at the top of a play structure, narrowly missing somebody's head, despite my shouting and ultimately unsuccessful efforts to prevent aforesaid, it is absolutely unhelpful for you to shoot dirty looks at me and my charges and mutter obviously nasty things in various languages. It is also charmless when you see me (shortly thereafter) strap the kids into the stroller and 1) roll your eyes and 2) heave theatrically obvious sighs of relief at each other. I can see you, you jackasses.
Thank you. &c.
Side note to random daycare ladies we passed as we left the park:
Saying "my, aren't those children big to be riding in a stroller!" will earn you no points with me. (Or, I imagine, with the empathetic crowd at the park.) I hope the gaggle of children you're guiding across the trolley tracks get in a Sharks-vs.-Jets altercation with the kids already in the park. Then every last adult in the goddamn place can blame the others for their out-of-control children. Best &c.
The stats test I've been dreading/having nightmares about is over -- how did I do? Dunno! -- and there's a small lull before I have to design/complete a project, so I have some time to think about La Leche League/sewing/knitting/cooking/leg waxing. So far I've checked off the last two boxes, having removed a goodly portion of the hair below my waist (though by no means all) and planned my brunch for Saturday (eggs, grits, chicken apple sausage). The final step in my mystical transformation from know-it-all layperson to official LLL leader (um...difference?) will occur tomorrow at the hands of another blogger, and I am utterly uninspired to knit anything right now. Because what I want* I can't find a pattern for. Sigh.
Which brings us to sewing.
First up: the square skirt. Two seams, one to make the waistband (a huge foldover affair), and one to attach waistband to skirt. Sorry it's either flashy or blurry -- the only mirror we have is in the cramped bathroom, so it's impossible to get a decent pic. Enjoy my weird bandy legs.
The fabric is a cotton-poly jersey with two-way stretch from Jo-Ann. I used maybe two yards with plenty left over. And I didn't bother hemming the edge -- the polyblend keeps the jersey from even rolling, and it's not coming apart. With that huge waistband it could totally be a maternity skirt, too. Not that I have any occasion to use such a thing.
Next up: this nifty pattern from Fern and Faerie (home of many a lovely diaper-related pattern). The darker smock is the smaller size, and the blue nightgown is the larger size.
I added a piece of elastic in the back of the nightgown to take up some of the volume. It's more even in real life than it looks in the picture. The effect is Tiny Muumuu. It's a little bit Golden Girls-after-dark -- a little bit cheesecake-around-the-kitchen-table-while -we talk-about-our-man-troubles.
Anyway, I haven't made the pants, mostly because Sophia has six thousand pairs of pants, but the smock pattern has to be the simplest, most rewarding, most difficult to fuck up pattern I've ever used. It made me feel so competent that I attempted the square skirt right afterwards. Now I think I'll make Sophia a hybrid skort thing, with a pair of shorts based on the F&F pattern under a tiny circle skirt, with the foldover waistband of my own. Oh, and about thirty more skirts for me. Because FUCK THE MAN.**
*an elbow-length-sleeve lacy shrug in DK-weight cotton.
**by which I mean, FUCK THE CORPORATIONS WHO SELL YOU ILL-FITTING CLOTHES MADE HALFWAY AROUND THE WORLD. (I am studiously ignoring the fact that the fabric itself was made in China. What can you do.)