Tag Archives: doctors

Don’t Ignore It

“Just ignore her. She’s doing it for attention.”

These were the wise, educated (!!!) words of our pediatrician, who had just finished examining Nora (3.5 years old at the time) and who determined there was absolutely nothing wrong with her.

Me: “So…just ignore that she’s suddenly pooping her pants multiple times a day? Even though she’s been fully potty trained for a year now?”

“Yes”

“And the constant complaints of stomach aches? And that her ‘legs feel tired’?”

“Attention.”

“You’re sure?”

“Look, you just had a baby. This is classic behavior in reaction to having a new sibling. Just ignore it and she will adjust.”

So we followed doctor’s orders for about a month.

And in a super unfuckingsurprising turn of events, it got worse.

And here’s the thing– Nora absolutely LOVES her baby sister. I mean, I know all siblings love each other in their own way, but Nora loved Sophie immediately, in a freakishly angelic-like fashion. I couldn’t understand how a former only child of 3 years could be THIS cool with the helpless, screaming, spastic alien we suddenly brought home to live in our house forever. But Nora was the best.

All she wanted to do was help take care of “Baby Sister”– cuddle with her, feed her, assist in diaper changes and bath time. I mean we took these pictures on WEEK ONE:

Could you die?!

And while yes, there were some rocky moments….

….Nora found the humor in them and always tried her best to be a comforting big sis to the atomic bomb that was newborn Sophie.

So the whole “doing this for attention” thing wasn’t really adding up. Honestly, that’s not really Nora’s style (I can already tell it’s definitely going to be Sophie’s M.O., though, so I’m prepared to grab a hat and hold the fuck on). I had read all the literature about how older siblings often go through a period of “regression” when the new baby arrives, but something in my gut told me this wasn’t that.

Also, you know what’s really hard to “just ignore?” Shit. Like– literal shit.

Eric and I were doing our very best not to show any visible frustration or, worse, to shame Nora for the accidents, but bottom line is that we couldn’t go anywhere or do anything without bringing at least 5 changes of clothes, a travel potty, wipes, and plastic bags for poop explosion storage. Any activity outside the house was interrupted by at least one accident, followed by a 5-10 minute water-wipe “shower” in the nearest public restroom or, more frequently (and fun!), the trunk of our car.

It was exhausting.

But moreso, I worried about the social aspect, and the eventual toll it might take on her self esteem. Nora was still at the age where other kids in her class weren’t really noticing or caring, but I knew that would only last for so long. At some point, she would be the smelly kid, and I’m sorry but that shit (again, literally) was not happening on MY watch.

So Eric and I did the uncomfortable but necessary work of telling the doctor “Hey, I know you learned a great deal of science-y and doctor-y stuff during the insane amount of schooling you went through in order to become a medical professional, but we know our daughter best, so please take your ‘just ignore her’ advice and

Or maybe we said, “We feel strongly that Nora’s symptoms are not for attention, and we’d like to kindly request further testing, please.”

I can’t remember the exact wording.

We requested a blood test to check her white blood cell count and rule out anything super scary, like, I don’t know, belly button cancer (not a thing). The doctor felt this was entirely unnecessary, but, I presume, wanted us to shut the fuck up, so agreed to a blood draw. She warned us that kids her age don’t do well with blood draws, and we reminded her that Nora went through two surgeries before the age of 1— she was a badass and could handle anything.

Except a blood draw, I guess ūüė¨. She was an absolute feral hyena.

But it was worth it. Because when the results came back, it turned out her white blood cell count was completely fine– no belly button cancer here! Her Tissue Transglutaminase IgA antibody number, however, was off the fucking charts.

“Hey, um, wtf is a Tissue Transglutaminase IgA antibody test,” you ask, because you’re not a doctor (although, as evidenced by this story, apparently ANYONE CAN BE). It’s a test done to detect elevated levels of certain antibody proteins, which would indicate an immune reaction to gluten. In an average person with no gluten sensitivity, numbers would be between 0-3 U/mL. Again, in layman’s terms– a normal, healthy number is between ZERO and THREE.

Nora’s number was over 250.

So when I said her number was off the charts, I mean her number was literally off the charts— the chart goes up to 250, and she was beyond 250, so we couldn’t even get an exact number, just a general “well this ain’t good!”

A follow-up endoscopy confirmed a clear diagnosis of Celiac Disease, which is an autoimmune disorder triggered by the consumption of gluten. It is not just a “gluten sensitivity,” it’s a serious autoimmune disease– even the tiniest amount of gluten exposure can onset symptoms (which include abdominal pain, chronic diarrhea or constipation, nausea, vomiting, weight loss, fatigue, depression/anxiety, joint pain, mouth sores, rash, nerve damage– just to name a few! ūü§ó) and those symptoms can last for days or even weeks. Untreated, Celiac Disease often leads to complications such as malnutrition, bone weakening, infertility, mental health disorders, cancer, and nervous system problems. In other words– scary shit. Shit that I do NOT wish for my child.

Since going on a gluten-free diet after diagnosis, Nora’s symptoms have improved dramatically and her blood work looks significantly better. However, avoiding gluten entirely can be a tricky endeavor, as issues of cross contamination during food preparation and “hidden gluten sources” that aren’t as obvious (i.e. salad dressings, soy sauce, even playing with playdoh) can trigger the disease. We are on a constant journey trying to figure out how to keep Nora healthy.

But this is not a sob story. Clearly. While we hate that Nora has to deal with any kind of lifelong health issue, we are of course grateful she wasn’t diagnosed with something worse. Celiac Disease, can, for the most part, be controlled with vigilance and self-control. We thought the self-control part would be hardest to uphold, but it is incredible how responsible Nora is about avoiding gluten. She is her own best advocate– she will never accept food from anyone, no matter how delicious looking, until she confirms it is gluten-free, and she has, shockingly, never once complained about the fact that she can’t always eat what her friends are eating. We show up to birthday parties and social events armed with our own gluten free pizza and cake (plus an emergency car trough of snacks), which never look quite the same as what her friends are eating, but she could care less. At only 4 years old, she truly astounds us every day with her maturity and flexibility.

But mostly we are just so beyond relieved that she is feeling better and thriving. We know that different phases of childhood through adulthood will present new and unique challenges for her as she manages her disease, but we are so proud to be her biggest supporters and cheerleaders as she finds her way in this often unaccommodating, gluten-filled world.

And we will never “just ignore her” again.**


**Extreme circumstances excluded. Like when she’s being really, truly, indisputably annoying.

Uterus Cobwebs

The IVF doctor sighed deeply, looked me straight in the eye and said, “You’re very old and you’re quite deformed. There is no point in you having sex anymore.”

Ok, fine. Maybe I’m paraphrasing. It was more like, “Given your age, and the fact that you have only one Fallopian tube, the chances of you conceiving naturally are quite slim.”

But I heard what I heard.

This was back in April 2021, about 7 months after a disastrous ectopic pregnancy that had resulted in a burst Fallopian tube and emergency surgery to remove it and save me from internally bleeding to death.

Eric and I were trying desperately to have one more child (we had always dreamed of two girls, and by we I mean me, and then I convinced Eric it was his dream too) but, given my various mental health issues, I had been staunchly avoiding a trip to the IVF doctor, fearful of what the brutal process would do to me, both mentally and physically.

I have known many brave women who have gone through IVF, and I have always marveled at their tenacity and strength. I couldn’t imagine having to manage the slew of doctor’s appointments, surgeries, hormone shots, side effects, and overall logistics without going completely insane (particularity given that my depressive and anxious tendencies can be triggered by something as benign as a change in routine, or the fact that it’s a weekday). IVF didn’t seem like something I was built for.

But it had been seven frustrating months of natural trying, and while some of you (men. Definitely only men) , might think “Cool! Sex!”, I can promise you that nothing is less seductive than strictly scheduled, position-coordinated sex, followed by obligatory post-coital bicycle kicks (just me, not Eric, although he was welcome to join) in order to get those sperm a swimmin’. All of this culminating in half-upside-down vertical leg-propping on the headboard whilst scrolling social media to pass the 15 minutes those little champions need to find their way to your ancient egg!**

This ritual was not proving successful in making a baby, but while upside-down Instagram scrolling I did come across a useful reel about how to put a tortilla under my nachos as a vessel for all the crumbs at the end, thus creating a bonus burrito. So not entirely unproductive.

The pressure we were putting on ourselves was making us both miserable, and we finally broke down and decided that intervention might be necessary, both to make a baby and to allow us to return to a non-cyborg sex life.

In the weeks leading up to our initial consultation with the IVF clinic, I still held out hope that we could somehow conceive naturally– hope that was immediately dashed when the doctor informed me of the cobwebs in my uterus and the deficiency of my lady parts. Or however he phrased it.

The doctor was confirming my worst fear since the ectopic pregnancy– that getting pregnant again was going to be extremely difficult, and perhaps not possible at all. I could tell he knew his shit (as I like to assume all doctors do), and so I took a deep breath and tried to process the fact that natural baby-making was no longer an option for me.

The doctor walked me through the process. We discussed timelines, hormone side effects, actual chances of conceiving and the likelihood that I would have to go through the process more than once. In more disappointing news, it turned out I would need to have preliminary tests done before even starting IVF, including testing on my one remaining Fallopian tube, which he was convinced was likely blocked with scar tissue from my two previous surgeries, and might have to be removed in order to optimize IVF results. I asked about IUI, a less invasive intervention, but was told that given my ectopic pregnancy, I was a poor candidate. The only way to ensure that I would not have another ectopic pregnancy was to bypass the tube entirely.

Eric rubbed my back as I sobbed.

The doctor was sympathetic and kind, but firm in his belief that we shouldn’t waste time. “Call me on the first day of your next period, and we can get the ball rolling.”

I never got my period.

Instead I got this:

Turns out, I was already pregnant when we spoke with the doctor, but I didn’t know it yet. My one lonesome, rickety tube beat the odds. And apparently, uterus cobwebs are helpful for trapping embryos***.

So for about the 85th time in my life I learned the slightly terrifying (but in this case fortuitous) lesson that doctors don’t know everything– and despite my propensity for skepticism, I had to admit that miracles really do happen.

Here’s mine:

I said miracle. I didn’t say genius.

————————————–

** I consulted an actual scientist who confirmed there is, in fact, no science to this.

***Again, no actual science here.

Wisdom

A wise man once said, “Don’t wait until you’re 40 fucking years old to get your wisdom teeth removed, you dumb dumb dodo bird.”

I mean I’m paraphrasing/making that up entirely but the point is, don’t wait. Because you know what the OPPOSITE of wisdom is? Sitting on your ass and doing nothing about your wisdom teeth, and waiting until your body reaches the (apparently decrepit?) age of 40, which then makes the procedure about 10 times more complex and susceptible to multiple kinds of nasty post-surgery complications. WHO KNEW?!*

*All dentists. All doctors. Most adults. Definitely some kids. Not me, though!

Now, in my defense, I was never explicitly told that I needed to get my wisdom teeth removed. It was always a kind of “on the fence” situation. Three of them grew in fine, but the bottom left remained SLIGHTLY impacted (meaning part of the tooth did not emerge from the gums. Follow me for more definitions of things you already know).

Beginning around age 17, dentists started to comment that “they should probably be taken out, but if they don’t cause pain, there’s no rush.” Well, the procrastinator in me loves nothing more than to hear “No rush!” so I kicked my feet up and sat on that shit for decades, like a boss.

My teeth never hurt. So I did what I do best– nothing.

Dentists kept mentioning it “would be a good idea” to remove them soon, but my brain clearly has an aversion to ideas that are good. So I continued to live my life, eat my sweets, and pretend that my body was not deteriorating with age.

Then I got pregnant with Sophie and I’m not sure the exact correlation, but my teeth started to hurt like a bitch. I went to the dentist after a 2-year COVID hiatus, at which point he kindly informed me, in the most gentle way possible, that it was absolutely batshit insane that I was still holding on to these teeth.

Me: “But they give me wisdom, right?”

Dentist:

Me: “Maybe you’ve heard that one before…”

Dentist: “This is serious. You need to remove these IMMEDIATELY. You cannot wait.”

Hearing these words and digesting the gravity of my situation, I did what any responsible adult would do and waited 11 more months.

Which brings us to last week, when I finally had them removed. And you know what guys, I’m not sure what all the scary warnings and dire tones were about because it was, like, nothing.

No jk it’s been horrible.

Here’s why. Apparently, the reason to NOT WAIT to get your wisdom teeth out (a reason that was never explicitly explained to me before I met with the surgeon, but that I probably could have figured out with a quick google search or, you know, some common fucking sense) isn’t just because your body is older and slower to heal (although that never helps! Middle age is cool cool cool.)

The more pressing issue is that the longer you keep the wisdom teeth, the deeper the roots grow into your gums, and the closer those roots are to approaching a very important huge ass nerve that runs along your jawline (it’s called the Mandibular Nerve, but I try not to get too medically technical on this blog because, you know, #notadoctor, but if you’re interested in more information please feel free to use the google and then let me know what it says).

The oral surgeon determined from my x-ray that the bottom left tooth (the impacted one) had roots VERY close to this nerve, so he felt inclined to warn me that nerve damage was a possibility. A very rare possibility, but a possibility nonetheless.

Me: “Ok, but like HOW rare?”

Surgeon: “VERY rare.”

Me: “Like so rare that it definitely shouldn’t stop me from getting the surgery?”

Surgeon: “Yes, that rare. I’ve only had one patient with nerve complications, and he was almost twice your age.”

Me: “Ok that sounds pretty fucking rare.”

Surgeon: “INCREDIBLY rare.”

So naturally, I have nerve damage.

The bottom left side of my face, from lower lip to chin, is completely numb. Oh, unless you count the constant burning, itching and tingling sensations that I can do nothing about, because when I try to scratch or massage the area, it is paralyzed and therefore touching it is useless. It’s that exact feeling of when your dental anesthesia is starting to wear off, and you feel the tingling but you’re still numb and uncomfortable and if you try to sip wine water it will dribble down your chin like a 90 year old hospice patient. And it’s ALL the time. Additionally, I’ve lost partial sense of taste and smell, so I don’t even get the satisfaction of fully enjoying the ice cream that rolls out of my mouth, down my face and into my neck.

So that’s been cool.

The surgeon (the same one who really played up that “rare” factor) feels “cautiously optimistic” that the damage is temporary, which would be reassuring if I had more than -2% faith in him, which I do not. And even if the damage IS temporary, it will still take 3 months to a year to resolve. THREE. MONTHS. TO. A. YEAR. Who has that kind of time?! Alright, fine. I do. But it’s annoying.

So that’s where we are. Wisdom teeth gone, jaw aching, nerves shot. The only positive is that I can now use this as a cautionary tale to warn all of you, and save you from similar despair– DO NOT WAIT TO REMOVE YOUR WISDOM TEETH.

I’m sorry, what’s that? This advice is useful to no one, because you removed yours at 17, like a not-idiot? WELL CHEERS TO YOU THEN.

Um Yes, I Have a Question

Nora had a second surgery on Monday to remove a cyst that had developed on one of the suture sites, and to remove one of the four silicone slings holding her eyelids up.

Surgeon (right before surgery): “[lengthy explanation of everything he will do, process and risks of anesthesia, post-op care, etc ]….and that’s it. It should be a quick surgery, about 20 minutes. Do you have any questions before we take her into the operating room?”

Me: “Only 20 minutes? So I won’t have time to get an ice cream downstairs?”

Surgeon: ms-I9ZTfk.gif

 

I had time.

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Nora Left Eye Lopes, Part 3

(Continuation of Nora Left Eye Lopes and Nora Left Eye Lopes, Part 2)

So last I left you, Nora was doing great but sporting a somewhat funky-looking cyst on the corner of her left eyebrow, at one of the sling surgery incision sites (there are four such sites, two on each eyebrow. The other three sites are completely fine and healed, barely visible). Here’s a diagram of the situation on her left eye, for visual learners:

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As mentioned previously, the cyst does not seem to bother her at all (except when we have to clean/medicate it), but the problem with leaving it be is that it is constantly opening and reforming, and every time that happens, it runs the risk of becoming infected. That would be crappy for many reasons. I don’t think I need to explain them.

Plus no one needs a cyst permanently sitting on their face. Life is hard enough.

In a last-ditch effort to get rid of the cyst (we’d already tried various topical steroids and antibiotics, to no avail), the surgeon prescribed an oral antibiotic. He hoped that this would do the trick– if not, it would mean that it’s the silicone sling itself causing the chronic irritation, and so it (the sling) would have to be removed.

So Nora took the oral antibiotic and the cyst went away and we all lived happily ever after because LIFE IS RAINBOWS AND BUTTERFLIES AND UNICORNS THE END!!!!!

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Bwahahahahahahahahh jk guys. But you knew that.

You’re on MY blog, not [insert name of someone I’d hate]’s blog.

Life never gets tied up in a neat little bow, so here we are at the next boulder in the road. Get out your chisel. (Is that what one uses to break through a boulder? Listen I’m not outdoorsy nor have I ever used a tool).

The cyst remains. And while we’ve grown so used to it that we’ve considered giving it a name, starting a college fund and raising it as our own, the doctor feels it needs to go. And the only way to do that is to remove the sling (you know, the one holding her eyelid up).

So we have another surgery scheduled for Monday. Yes, this Monday. July 22nd. Because some people go to The Hamptons in the summer, but honestly we prefer the bright florescent lights of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Day Surgery Division.

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Same doctor. Same hospital. Same general anesthesia. Same crippling anxiety thought spirals of hell positive attitude leading up to it.

The doctor seems hopeful that because there are two slings in the eyelid (refer to professional diagram above), the inner sling will be sufficient in keeping the lid up. If the lid DOES droop, to the point where it could affect vision, he will be able to discern that mid-surgery, and we will then have the option of putting in a replacement sling in a slightly different location (all this can be done in that same surgery). The downside to this is that Nora will then have three incision sites in that one brow. And, of course, the chance of another cyst-like reaction at the new incision site.

The good news, again, is that the surgeon seems confident that the one remaining sling will suffice (especially since this was the better, less droopy eye to begin with), and that removing the troublesome sling is not going to affect the cosmetics, or her vision, at all (then why did he put it there in the first place? Standard procedure? Slightly better chance of symmetry with the other eye? IDK guys I guess I missed the day they taught that in the medical school that I didn’t go to).  Furthermore, he feels that if he DID have to put in a replacement sling, the likelihood of a cyst forming again is small, especially since the other three incisions healed so nicely.

His confidence seems promising, and the odds do seem to be in our favor– however, this is only the THIRD time in his TWENTY YEAR career that he has had to remove a sling, so I’d say my faith in odds right now is akin to my faith in Eric’s hair-regrowth shampoo.

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Thankfully, Eric remains positive and hopeful (regarding both the surgery and his hair), so I don’t have to. This is a marriage strategy and not an accident. It’s written in our ketubah: “In sickness, and in health, Emily will constantly assume the worst and Eric will keep the entire ship afloat by himself, so help him God. He’ll also get Emily iced coffee and egg salad and never comment on how much she’s sweating.” It’s all there in Hebrew.

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So that’s where we are. One of the four silicone slings will be removed on Monday. The surgery is slated to take 120 minutes, from prep to finish. I will eat my feelings next to the hospital’s frozen yogurt machine, which likely still has my chicken-nugget-greased fingerprints on it from February. Eric will wander around introducing himself to various dogs.

Nora, I assume, will handle it better than both of us, because she’s still zero years old and life is just a series of eating, pooping, and maniacally swaying to Queen:

 

And I’m sure all this hardship will make Nora stronger, and it will all work out in the end, just like it did for Freddie Mercury.

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No, I’m kidding. Obviously. I DO believe this will all be fine, I’m just sorry my sweet little tater tot has to go through this. AGAIN. I’m not necessarily confident that this is the last time we will deal with this issue, but I AM confident we’ll be able to look back one day and this will all seem like a distant memory and a minor roadblock. I know that day will come, because, no matter how hard life has been at any point, and no matter how hopeless things have seemed at any  given moment, a good dose of distance and perspective has always made the value of the struggle seem crystal clear.

But right now it’s surgery-anticipation mode, so I’m sorry, I’m just not there yet. But I will be.

And until then, I’ll cope in same way any other loving, caring, fiercely devoted mother would.

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Nora Left Eye Lopes, Part 2

(A continuation/update of Nora Left Eye Lopes )

Yesterday I received an email from a reader asking me about the progress of Nora’s ptosis, and it dawned on me that I never actually posted an update on the blog. I’ve kept friends informed through Facebook, but hearing from this woman (who also has a baby with congenital ptosis) made me realize that I owe an update to blog readers as well. I am always hopeful that my experiences can help and provide information/insight for others, so here’s the spiel (I tried my damndest to keep it short but, choice of husband aside, I’m pretty bad at keeping things short. Ba-dum ching! url):

Soon after my last (and also first) blog post about Nora’s ptosis, we had our next ophthalmologist appointment. The diagnosis up until that point was “mild” ptosis in her right eye that was (so far) not impacting her vision or development. We were told to patch her left eye in order to force her to use the right one, with the purpose of maintaining vision in that eye and preventing Amblyopia, aka “lazy eye.” This patching phase is when she earned her “Nora Left Eye Lopes” nickname. Because, I mean, just look at this photo and tell me she is not one badass bitch:

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You can’t, right? I know.

So yeah. We left that first appointment thinking this was a relatively minor issue that we’d just have to watch, and if down the line we wanted to consider surgery for cosmetic purposes, that would be an option. Thankfully, the ptosis was not severe, and surgery was not something we needed to even have on our radar yet.

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So imagine my surprise when I took Nora to the next appointment (Eric was traveling for work) and was told that, in fact, BOTH eyes had ptosis (I kind of already suspected this, but also kind of talked myself out of it and chalked it up to my BFF, Paranoia, rearing her ugly persistent head). The doctor classified the right eye as “severe” and the left as “moderate.” No “mildness” about it. While Nora’s vision was thus far intact, the extreme head-tilting she had to do in order to see would likely start to affect her physical development.

Surgery was recommended.

The good thing is that even though this was not at all what I expected to hear, I remained totally calm. I listened to the doctor’s words and stayed completely composed, because instinct kicked in and I knew I had to be strong for my baby girl.

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I cried like a little bitch.

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The recommended surgery was Bilateral Frontalis Sling, where an internal silicon sling is inserted to connect the lid muscles to the eyebrow muscle, so the brow muscle can lift the lids for her. Using silicon as the material for the sling is usually only a temporary solution– as a baby’s face grows, the silicon does not grow with it, and therefore the lids typically start to droop again after a period of time. An alternative material to silicon is a thigh tendon ¬†(aka “fascia lata”), taken from the child’s leg through a very small incision. This is typically a more permanent solution, as the tendon will grow with the child’s face. It also has the added benefit of not being a foreign object in the body, and therefore infection or rejection is unlikely. Unfortunately, the tendon can not be used until about 3-4 years of age, because it is not developed enough before then. ¬†So our only option at this point was silicon.

Luckily, through the amazingness of social media (Facebook gets a bad rap but I’ve already nominated Mark Zuckerberg for a Nobel Prize), we were able to locate and be connected with one of the top doctors in the country for this kind of surgery: Dr. William Katowitz at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). During our consultation with him, he agreed that Nora’s case was severe, and surgery was scheduled for February 21, just a few days shy of her 6-month birthday.

The nice thing about waiting for a surgery date to arrive is NOTHING.

THERE IS NO NICE THING.

I thought I was handling the anxiety of the approaching date well, but in hindsight I was just channeling my anxiety into other aspects of my life. It was anxiety just the same. I didn’t eat well, sleep well, or think well for months. Wine through a straw helped. Until it inevitably didn’t.

Finally, the date arrived. We drove to Philly the night before, stayed at a hotel, and arrived at CHOP around 8am the next day. Here’s a visual summary of surgery day:

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Nora was a brave (re: oblivious) little saggy-cheeked champ, Eric befriended every dog he came across, I ate my feelings/smiled so I didn’t cry, and then I sang to Nora post-surgery and mentally transported myself to a place where I wasn’t staring at my bloodied, swollen, groggy, whimpering child.

Seeing her after surgery was terrible. It was a long car ride back to NYC. I sat in the back with her, but covered her car seat with a light blanket as she slept, because I couldn’t bear to see the evidence of what we had elected to do to her. Yes, it was medically advised and yes, it would probably be better for her in the long run, but in that moment all I could think was “I caused her this pain.”

Well, no worries, because as it turns out, my daughter is a fucking warrior.

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We got home and she slept through most of the night, waking only once for a bottle because, due to the anesthesia, she hadn’t eaten in about 24 hours. After a 3am feed she went right back to bed and, I shit you not, woke up like this:

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Happy as a goddamn clam.

For real, WHO MADE THIS CHILD?! It seems that somehow, despite the fact that I carried and birthed her, she inherited zero of my DNA. Because if it were me, I’d be handling the situation with exactly this much grace:

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As you can somewhat see in the photos of Nora above, the surgeon tied the sling at four separate incision sites, two on each brow. He then put in a temporary stitch on the bottom of each eye, for the purpose of keeping her eyes cinched tight post-op, in order to prevent her from scratching a cornea.

Two days after surgery, we returned to CHOP and he removed the temporary stitch. The results took my breath away (it was at this point I realized I hadn’t, in fact, breathed in 2 months):

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Nora instantly stopped tilting her head back, and we were able to see, for the first time, just how beautifully blue her eyes are. I praised Jesus. Yeah, I’m jewish, but still. This felt like a moment for Jesus to be involved. Allah, Buddha, whoever Wiccans worship– everyone was welcome at this prayer party.

Since then, Nora’s eyes have “settled” a bit, which is to be expected with this surgery:

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As far as I’m concerned, her eyes now look typically-developing. ¬†Yes, sometimes her right eye still looks “droopier,” especially when she’s tired. And yes, there’s still a little bit of a “sleepiness” to them, but it’s so minor I’m pretty sure I’m the only one perceiving it. She sometimes sleeps with her eyes a bit open, which we were warned was a possible side effect, but it has not had any consequences other than to kinda creep us out.

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So all in all, a huge success with virtually no complications!!!!!!

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Not how my life works.

About 3 months after surgery, Nora woke up with a swollen eye, and one of the suture sites on her brow looked irritated. We went to the opthamologist and they gave us some cream and didn’t seem too concerned. Weeks later, the irritation had only gotten worse. We went back to the surgeon at CHOP.

It turns out that a small cyst has developed, a minor and fairly common healing complication. The cyst varies in its appearance, and every so often it pops, draining some pus and blood (I know, gross– but this is actually a good thing). Some days, it looks like nothing more than a small little scab on her brow. Other days, it takes on a life of its own.

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Fortunately, much like the dude above, Nora is blissfully unaware of its presence and, in terms of cosmetics, gives a total of zero fucks. Ah, to be no years old.

It isn’t causing her any harm or discomfort, aside from when we have to put hot compresses on it, squeeze it a bit, and apply the cream. That, she does not care for (#grossunderstatement).

The doctors seem hopeful that the cyst will eventually resolve itself and fully drain on its own. I’m not so sure. It continues to fill, pop, scab, and then the process begins all over again. If it doesn’t improve soon, we will have to consider surgery as an option.

I know– another surgery?! Whhhhhhyyyyyyyyy? Especially for such a minor thing that only seems to be a cosmetic issue at this point?

Well the problem is, the more the cyst opens, the more likely it is to get infected– and if it DOES get infected, and THEN the surgeon goes in to remove it, there is a much higher chance that he might have to remove the sling, too. And if that were the case, we’d have to wait for the cyst surgery to heal, and then do ANOTHER sling surgery. Granted, this is a worst-case scenario, but the fact that it’s even in the realm of scenarios makes me want to ugly cry, Kardashian style.

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So nothing’s perfect. Which falls under the category of “duh.”

But overall, we are so grateful for the surgery and the results, despite the non-perfection. Nora can see. People no longer look at her and wonder if something is “wrong” with her (you might think that’s me being cray, but I actually had a former student’s parent, pre-surgery, ask me exactly that– “Is she ok? Is something wrong with her?” It was the first time in my life that I considered murder as a viable conflict resolution tactic.)

Nora is now completely thriving in all areas of development, and she’s just the happiest little rope-a-dope. I mean look how thrilled she is about a banana that I bought on the street for 15 cents:

And yes she’s eating that banana naked because do you really expect me to feed AND clothe her? What am I, a wizard?

So that’s where we are in our ptosis journey. We have the possibility of cyst-removal surgery, as well as the eventual possibility of fascia lata sling surgery to replace the silicon sling a few years down the line. All that being said, Nora is happy, healthy, and thriving– we are thrilled with our decision to surgically treat her eyes, and have never looked back (no pun intended).

A huge thank you to ALL those who have supported us along the way (and there have been so SO many of you). The brightest, most silverest (back off, spellcheck) lining of this whole experience has been a renewed faith in the human spirit. Anyone who thought they might be able to help, did. We were connected with the best doctors, given the most helpful advice, sent the sweetest gifts, notes and kind words. There is simply no way to accurately express my gratitude, so in lieu of the perfect words, please accept this photo of Nora making the world’s most absurd face:

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The end.

(are YOU exhausted? I am)

 

 

The Birth, Part 2

(Continuation of The Birth, Part 1)

So there I was, doing nothing.

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Eric was trying to stay upbeat and positive for my sake, but every once in a while I’d glimpse over and see this:

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My cervix continued to be poked and prodded but, like my 4-year-old nephew at the seder table, remained completely disinterested.

Then the doctor had a theory– perhaps my water broke not because I was about to go into labor, but because there was some kind of threat to the baby, such as a virus or infection. So she took my temperature, but it was perfectly normal. “Phew,” I thought, “a fever right now would be bad.”

But you know what’d be worse? Having a thermometer stuck up your butthole. Which is exactly what they had to do in order to get a more accurate reading. Luckily for all involved (besides, I suppose, Eric), at this point in pregnancy I had zero percent shame left, and so had virtually no reaction when they rolled me over (a team effort) and prodded me in my 3rd-trimester-inflated tush.

“Yup! Fever!” determined the nurse excitedly, I guess because that finally offered an explanation for the nothingness that was occurring, but given that I was crouched there with my ass blowing in the breeze, I resented his merriment.

So it turns out I had some kind of minor infection, which triggered my amniotic sac to say “We gotta get this baby out!” and burst, but in its hysteria forgot to relay the message to the rest of my body, including the second body living inside my body, who remained so high up I swear to god I could feel her in my throat. Nora had no interest in coming out, and I can’t say I blame her because as far as she knew, the outside world consisted only of sitting on toilets, vomiting, and the Kardashians.

But now we were on a clock. The longer you sit around with your water broken, the greater the risk of infection for the baby. It was already determined that I had a fever, and although they gave me antibiotics to protect Nora, it still made things slightly more urgent– and as everyone knows, a ticking time bomb is exactly what an anxious person who has been instructed to stay as calm as possible needs.

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The doctor presented us with a choice:

“We can do a c-section now, or we can give it some more time and see if anything starts happening. If we do give more time, it seems unlikely that anything will happen without the (induction drug) Pitocin, which we have to stop giving you because it’s lowering the baby’s heart rate. But it’s your choice.”

“Ok, well. Let us talk it over,” Eric said, as my catheter bag filled with nervous-pee.

She left the room and we discussed the pros and cons, deciding that it probably couldn’t hurt to wait a few hours. Perhaps we’d get lucky and things would suddenly kick into gear, and I could avoid a c-section. Plus it would give my mom, already on her flight to NYC, more time to get to the hospital and be there for the birth.

So when the doctor came back we told her, “We’ve decided to wait a few hours and see if anything happens.”

Doctor: “Ok, but nothing is going to happen. Your body is not in labor at all, and is showing no signs of starting. There’s really no point in waiting.”

Us: “Well, we just figured something MIGHT happen on its own…”

Doctor: “It won’t.”

Us: “So you’d recommend not waiting?”

Doctor: “There’s no reason to wait. Waiting will just increase risk.”

Us: “Oh. So when you said we had a choice…”

Doctor:url

What the actual fuck?

Thanks for letting us spend half an hour in this hospital room discussing a choice that was not a choice, and having us select an option that was not an option. Cool use of tax dollars!

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I was then told I was getting a c-section.

Now.

They were going to have a 5-minute team huddle, then come wheel me into surgery, and the baby would be out in 15 minutes.

So 9 hours of 200w-2.gif morphed into giphy-3.gif in a matter of 4 seconds and I gotta say, it was a little jarring.

In what seemed like no time, a medical team of six wheeled me into the operating room and whisked Eric away to outfit him in his surgery gear (side note: nothing made Eric happier than when they gave him a hairnet– “See, they think I have hair!” Then moments later he saw that the literally hairless anesthesiologist was also wearing one. Apparently it’s just protocol. They would’ve put Britney Spears circa 2007 in a hairnet.)

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So Eric entered the OR expecting, naturally, that there’d be a sheet blocking the scary parts. Instead, he walked smack into my naked body on a metal slab, spread eagle and covered in orange goo. The doctor was literally already cutting into me when Eric opened the door. His demeanor remained calm but his eyes said “I’m am screaming on the inside.”

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Fortunately for him, even though a nightmare of epic proportions was taking place below the curtain, above the curtain was nothing short of glam-squad allure:

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The nurse asked if I’d like any music playing.

Me: “Ummm…I guess Adele would be soothing?”

So he whipped out his iPhone and Spotify-ed that shit, as any professional would do mid-surgery. But then he continued to look at his phone for another 2-3 minutes, on what I can only assume was Tinder. Which of course is completely fine but if you’re going to be online dating during my c-section at least have the decency to let me see who you’re swiping right on. I mean have some fucking respect.

As Adele played, I closed my eyes and tried to take in the hugeness of this moment, but found the only thing I could think about was my post-surgery snack. I silently prayed that Eric had already picked up one of my favorites, and it’d be waiting for me in post-op. Most people pray for their life before undergoing surgery– or, if nothing else, their child’s life.

I prayed for a muffin.

After a few minutes of tugging and digging through organs, the team began compressions right below my ribcage. Nora was already in the correct position (head-down) so the standard method is to then compress from the top, by her feet, which would force her head to emerge from the bikini-line incision and her body would eventually be entirely force-squeezed out of me. You know, like a sausage.

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But damn was this one uncooperative little chorizo. Right before her head was about to emerge, Nora decided “Nope- fuck this noise!” and TURNED AROUND.

Like her mom on a  Monday  work day  day, she caught a glimpse of the outside world and decided

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She managed to somehow contort her body 45 degrees so that she was now laying across my stomach in transverse position (aka horizontal instead of vertical, aka nowhere near an exit hole). Not sure where this little bozo thought she was going. Clearly someone forgot to read the fine print of her 9-month lease agreement, but eviction day was upon us and, if resistant, tenant would be removed by force. 

The team continued compressing from my ribcage, but with her new positioning, instead of moving down, Nora just swished from side to side. The compressions became more forceful and I could hear and see my body flopping around like a beached jellyfish. I have to trust there was a method to the madness, but eventually the medical strategy simply devolved into this:

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She would not come out.

I heard the doctor call for an attending, and then for a vacuum. I looked up pleadingly at Eric. He lovingly stroked my hair and, in the most reassuring of tones, whispered, “I have no fucking idea what’s happening.”

I then turned to the anesthesiologist, and he assured me that everything was just fine. You know, like a liar.

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A few more minutes of flopping, a couple rounds of suction, and a few buckets of sweat pouring from Eric’s pointless hairnet later, Nora emerged to the song “When We Were Young.” ¬†And it was beautiful.

The song, not Nora.

Nora looked like this:Nora birth.jpg

Which some people might argue is beautiful, because everything about pregnancy, birth and motherhood is beautiful, and to those people I say GET OFF MY BLOG.

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Thankfully, they cleaned her up before handing her to me, because, for christ’s sake, I’d been through enough.

And then, she was beautiful. So beautiful, in fact, that I simply could not believe she was mine.

“By the way,” said the doctor, “the second I took her out of you, she shit all over me.”

Ok yup she’s mine. woman-raising-hand-medium-light-skin-tone.png

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The Birth, Part 1

(I started writing this 8 months ago. I got one paragraph in and then forgot about it, because #mombrain. “The Birth, Part 2” will come at some point, but this was getting too long and I’m tired and someone should¬†probably¬†check on Nora. Where IS she….)

The evening of August 24th, 2018 was like any other evening in my third trimester of pregnancy: I was rip-roaringly uncomfortable, sweaty, and crippled with impatience. Eric was bored out of his goddamn mind. This general state of misery (misery being a relative term, I’m aware that this all falls under the umbrella of #champagneproblems) had been on repeat every day for the entire summer, and with my due date two days away, I had lost all hope that this baby would be arriving early.

One of Eric’s best friends was having a birthday party that night, and even though I could have technically gone into labor at any minute, I assumed I was going to be pregnant for another 3-7 years, and therefore urged Eric to go. I would’ve gone myself, but alas, breathing while standing was a luxury I could no longer enjoy.

“Have fun,” I told him, while yearning to be in a body that didn’t contain a whole other body.

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He swore he was only going to have one drink, just in case. “No, whatever,” I replied. “Get drunk. Enjoy yourself. This baby is never being born and I will forever be two people and I’ll never poop alone again and I’ll have two vaginas forever and that’s just a fate I’ve now accepted.”

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So obviously after this diatribe he slowly backed out of the apartment, sprinted down the hall, fled to the west side and had himself a few hearty drinks.

And obviously, my water broke.

He got home from the party around 10:00pm, which is when people in their mid-thirties get home from parties. At 3am, I woke up thinking I had to pee, but when I stood up, I found I had no control over it, and bolted¬†penguin-shimmied to the bathroom, luckily making it to the toilet before the major “break.”

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“How do you know the difference between your water breaking and just peeing?” many people have asked me. “Doesn’t it feel the same?” Yes, it feels the same in the way a light ocean ripple feels the same as a category 5 tsunami.

NO IT DOESN’T FUCKING FEEL THE SAME.

One thing is normal and the other thing is giphy-2.gif.

If your water breaks and you think it’s just pee, you’ve been peeing wrong.

I flipped on the bathroom lights and screamed, “Eric! It’s happening!” Though questionably drunk, he was out of bed in .5 seconds and ready to call an Uber when I casually removed my torpedoed granny panties and got into the shower.

A strange calm took over. I knew this was it, but I also didn’t feel panicked. I knew I wanted to feel clean going into the hospital, and that I had time. In a voice I didn’t recognize, because calm is a distant stranger I’ve never met, I told Eric to call the doctor while I enjoyed my last shower as a non-mom (had I known what I know now– that Nora would insist on watching me shower every day, curtain open, like a complete tater-tot-sized creeper, I would have cherished that last lone shower even more).

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(actual pic of her outside the bathroom door watching me shower and, I suspect, body-shaming me.)

The doctor said I’d probably start going into labor soon, but it was my choice if I wanted to go to the hospital now and induce, or wait at home for things to get moving. Asking an anxious person to sit around and wait is like asking my sister to emote– technically it can be done, but it will be painful for all involved so why torture ourselves.

We hopped (well, Eric hopped. I groan-waddled) into an Uber where I immediately called my Mom to let her know my water broke, and then immediately learned that you shouldn’t let your Uber driver know your water broke. They definitely surcharge that shit. I assured him that I wouldn’t leak in his ride, because “Don’t worry, Sir, I’m wearing a pad the size of Atlanta,” which definitely smoothed things over and made everyone feel more comfortable and less disgusted.

My mom, who was in the Outer Banks, where my entire family was vacationing without us, picked up the phone. She was 99% excited but I definitely caught that 1% of disappointment that I couldn’t kegel-squeeze this baby inside of me for another week so that her vacation could continue uninterrupted.

“I guess I’ll book a plane ticket!” she said, and I assured her, one last time, that she didn’t HAVE to fly in for this, but Cha Cha is no dummy and knew there would be social media evidence of her absence.

So she flew in for the optics.

When we got to the hospital I was asked by the nurse if I was SURE my water broke. I explained that I’m no medic, but if this isn’t my water breaking then either my body forgot how to pee right, or it turns out I’m a mermaid. For reasons I cannot place, she remained skeptical, and so took me into the bathroom to “test” the liquid.

“Alright, your funeral,” I shrugged, and as predicted, pulling down my underwear triggered another gush, which went all over her shoes. I’d assume labor nurses are used to and cool with this kind of thing, but she didn’t seem the least bit amused when I suggested she grab a boogie board so I don’t know maybe it was her first day?

“Ok, let’s check you in,” she said, now convinced that I was not in fact a mermaid and was maybe just having a human baby.

Another, more chill nurse thankfully then took over, and as she got me settled in my bed I caught a glimpse of my shitty-looking nails and said, “God damnit, I KNEW I should’ve gotten a manicure yesterday,” because that’s something that someone who is ready to be a mother says.

The nurse laughed and told me you wouldn’t believe how many women have glam squads come to the hospital to fix them up for the instagram birth series. That’s cool. I looked like this:

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I was then asked if I wanted drugs, to which I replied YES PLEASE THANK YOU AND ALSO NOWWWWWWWW before the nurse could finish saying the word “epidural.” Please note that I was in absolutely zero pain at this point. I just wanted the zero pain to stay that way for as long as possible because, I don’t know, I guess I don’t hate myself?

But seriously, to the women who choose to suffer through the contractions or go all natural all the way, I gotta say damn you are brave. But also why? WHY?!

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So they started the epidural and then the Pitocin, a drug to induce labor. And then I sat back and relaxed while nothing happened.

NOTHING.

Literally nothing.

When the doctor went to check my cervix, she saw this:

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Apparently my amniotic sac had decided it was go-time, but forgot to inform my cervix, which remained as closed as Donald Trump’s mind. (Relatedly, if Trump really wants an impenetrable border wall, he should build it out of my cervix).

No man, woman or baby was breaking through that barrier any time soon. I was 0 centimeters dilated. I know this because no less than four arms went up my hooha to check.

You know what’s a bad sign? When your doctor removes her fist from your vagina and says “Hmmmm, that’s odd.”

So we continued to wait while nothing happened. NOTHING.

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So much nothing, in fact, that when the nurse came in to check on me, he just walked in, grabbed a seat and joined our binge session of The Sinner (great show, btw), which we were watching on Eric’s laptop.¬†He didn’t even ask how I was feeling or if I needed anything– it was clear from the zero things happening that I was feeling nothing and needed nada. So he watched tv with us. Because Netflix n’ birth.

Clearly, it was going to be a long day.

Or so we thought.

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*I’m totally kidding about the optics joke, Ma! I know you love me. Probably not as much as you love the Outer Banks, though, which is fair because the Outer Banks never called you a bitch when it was 16.

Bonehead Decisions

Yesterday Eric and I went to the hospital for our 36-week growth scan (a thorough, more in-depth ultrasound to track baby’s growth/health, generally performed every 4-6 weeks in pregnancy). After the hell parade that was Sunday, we* were pretty anxious about what this scan might reveal.

*we = I . Eric doesn’t scare easily. See “marrying me” as evidence.

The first thing the technician said before performing the scan was “So, now that you’re 36 weeks and 3 days along, baby should definitely be in the head-down position, preparing for delivery.”

“Funny you should say that,” I countered. “Because we ended up in the hospital on Sunday due to contractions, nausea, and shortness of breath, only to learn through a quick ultrasound that baby flipped to breech, even though she’s been head down since week 30.”

“Ugh,” said the technician. “What a little stinker.”

I immediately liked her, and wondered if she’d be interested in nannying my child as a side-gig.

“Yes,” I agreed. “We’ve been using the term ‘bozo,’ but stinker works too.”

“Alright, well let’s see what Stinker’s up to today.”

She placed the ultrasound wand on my belly and immediately determined that baby had, somewhere in the past 36 hours, flipped back to head-down (the correct position).

“Oh, thank god,” I sighed, followed quickly by, “Fucking…seriously, though?”

My initial interpretation of this behavior was that this baby is exactly like EricРan energetic bunny hellbent on filling her day with activities, despite the person sharing space with her being in NO MOOD.

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A true Lerman baby, by contrast, would have found a cozy spot at week 6 and not moved a muscle until she was tugged out with forceps, suction, and a blowhorn at week 43. But this kid has been kicking, jabbing, and playing my ribs like a xylophone for months now. Activities!!!!!!!!!! 52a0e87bb80b3b54af4cff0f2a2266bb imgres-252a0e87bb80b3b54af4cff0f2a2266bb imgres-252a0e87bb80b3b54af4cff0f2a2266bbimgres-2

Textbook Eric.

But upon further contemplation I realized this late-in-the-game-flip-trick was maybe less a display of restless hyperactivity and more indicative of chronic indecisiveness. A sudden, crippling fear that she was doing everything horribly wrong, and attempting to change course when it made absolutely no rational sense to do so. Or perhaps it was just straight-up bitchery performed for her own amusement. All clearly traits of her mother. img_1179-1

Terrifying realization that my daughter might be exactly like me aside, I was relieved that our little gremlin found her way back home because no breech = no automatic c-section, which, sure, might still happen anyway, but at least now it’s not a set inevitable. (Side note: after listening to several women in the throes of excruciating labor on Sunday, a c-section did actually start to sound appealing. But in general I have a rule about avoiding knives to my body if/when possible. Nose job at age 15 aside, of course. That was obviously¬†necessary, according to my mother.)

Then, suddenly, something dawned on me, and I quickly formed a medical hypothesis about Sunday’s trauma that no doctor had offered up, because apparently in this pregnancy it is up to me, with my BA in Sociology, to accurately diagnose all health conditions with no help from the people who attended 7+ years of medical school (see: Hypothyroidism section of this post for further evidence of how I am smarter than all doctors everywhere¬†my own best advocate.)

So I presented my hypothesis to the technician: “Wait, so– on Sunday they chalked my nausea, contractions and difficulty breathing up to dehydration or something I ate. But is it possible I got sick because of her breech position? Because honestly everything felt different and so uncomfortable for that one day, even the way I was able to move and lay, and I think maybe it was because she flipped to breech so quickly?”

“Oh, that’s absolutely possible,” replied the technician/my future nanny/new best friend. “At this stage in pregnancy all of your organs have shifted up, and there’s not much space left in there. So when baby flipped and pressed her head against all those organs, it definitely could have made you sick.”

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What exactly did I know? That this was ALL HER FAULT– NOT MINE! The doctors kept trying to tell me I’m not drinking enough water (literally impossible– I’m blogging this from the porcelain whiz palace, because I live here now) or that I “shouldn’t have eaten that chicken salad” when in reality I drink 20 vats of water a day (as something had to replace the wine) and Gracie Mews Diner would NEVER hurt me.

No, Sunday’s disaster was the result of baby’s choice, not mine, and to be honest I am slightly resentful that I had to take the heat for HER poor decision.

Although I suppose, in the end, this is exactly what parenthood is–¬†begrudgingly accepting responsiblity for your kid’s bonehead choices.

And fine. I accept that. I guess I was just kind of hoping the boneheadedness would hold off until toddlerhood. Or, at the very least, birth.

Anyway, she heard all this so here she is trying to give me the finger.

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I’m sure she’ll have that down by the time I meet her.

 

 

Sunday Scaries

Yesterday I woke up having contractions, shortness of breath, and nausea.

So, thinking there was a slight possibility I might be in labor, as I am thisclose to full term, we called the doctor and described my symptoms. She advised us to check into the hospital’s labor and delivery building.

Eric: “Ok, and where is that?”

Probably a pretty fucking good sign that we are not quite ready to have this baby.

So the doctor gave us the address and politely decided to not acknowledge the fact that we were basically the pregnancy version of Dumb and Dumber.

We got to the hospital and eventually someone came to give me an exam. The monitors showed that I was in fact having contractions, so they wanted to check if my cervix was at all open (a possible sign of impending labor). I thought maybe this was the kind of thing that could be easily detected on, say, a sonogram. But no. Turns out this “exam” involves the doctor sticking her entire arm up my hooha¬†and apologizing profusely, while Eric hides in a corner.

After a minute of intensely uncomfortable digging she declared “Nope! You’re completely closed off!”, confirming that my cervix does indeed match my personality.

She then performed a sonogram to check on the baby. “She looks perfectly happy in there!” she declared in a sunshine¬†tone. “But you know she’s breech, right?”

Ummmm NO, Dr. Hooha Hands, we did NOT know that.

“But she’s been head down since 30 weeks, including when I went to the doctor 5 days ago!”

“Oh. Yikes. Well, now she’s breech. Her head is up here (points just below my left boob). It’s unlikely she’ll flip again at this point, but you can discuss options with your regualr OB, such as a planned c-section….but anyway, that’s not why we’re here.”

No, it’s not. BUT NOW THAT’S ALL I CAN FOCUS ON SO THANKS FOR NOTHING.

“So let’s get back to the contractions and nausea,” she continued.

“Ok. Yeah. Why is this happening?”

She might as well have answered with this emoji shrug_1f937

“Possibly dehydration? Or maybe something you ate?”

giphy¬†<— that’s me being impressed with the expertise and insight one gains after 7+ years of med school.

“Either way, we’re going to give you this anti-nausea pill so at least you can get some relief on that end, and then we’ll see.”

I swallowed the pill.

Ten minutes later, I vomited profusely, filling two bins so quickly that two nurses and Eric (poor, poor Eric) were not enough helping hands to prevent it from spilling everywhere.

After they changed my entire bedding, wiped down my plastic mattress and re-dressed me in yet another gown that did nothing to cover my pale, pregnant tush-sag, they hooked me up to an IV to rehydrate me and dripped some meds through it, which eventually put me to sleep for about an hour. This was nice because it allowed me to tune out the woman next door in the throes of what seemed to be extremely painful labor. Eric still got to listen, though, because everything about his life right now is roses.

When I woke, I felt much better.

The doctor came back and looked at the monitor. “You were contracting a lot while sleeping so I’d like to check your cervix again.”

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So, one more painful round of arm-up-the-vajayjay and Dr. Hooha Hands officially confirmed that I am definitely closed, not in labor, and can go on my merry way. The nurses then came to check on me one last time, and Eric took this opportunity to clarify, “So, when we DO give birth, we come HERE?”¬†imgres.jpg¬†They smiled, because nurses are angels, and cofirmed that yes, Lloyd and Harry, this is where you two will come to have your baby.

They then discharged me, advising me to drink lots of water (duh) and not eat chicken salad from diners (oh.)

There is no real wrap up or moral or point to this story other than in case you haven’t been listening for the past 8 months, (this) pregnancy sucks.

Happy Monday.