free hit counter Snacks, please!: April 2007

Monday, April 30, 2007

The Latest Theory

Okay, Day 10 in the hospital:

Today, we learned that part of Josephine's right lung has collapsed. Her chest X-ray clearly shows it (according to the fourth attending physician to assume her care.) And yes, that would be the same X-ray that she got on Friday, which was used then as evidence of bacterial pneumonia.

My question to the doctor: So, okay.... does this mean she doesn't have pneumonia?
Answer: Well, we can't say for sure. It's possible. In any case, the antibiotics can't hurt.
(Read: Hey, mommy, don't get mad at us!)

I like Georgetown, in theory, but not very much in practice.

With all that, I still think she's doing better. Today, when she was awake, she didn't need the oxygen at all. (When she slept, her oxygen saturation levels dipped to low. Bells went off. I lost my nerve and turned it on myself!) Even more significantly, she drank more milk than she's had in two weeks, and I got a smile!

Anyway, I'm just sick of the whole thing. (The latest attending physician came in today, explained the whole chest thing, blah-blah, and said "Oh, you know everybody has been saying how nice you are! Considering how long you've had to stay..." And I said, "Yeah, ha. I'm not actually that nice anymore.")

In other news, I read Pete Hamill's essay about his friend Mike Tyson in prison (yes, it's an old one) and he clearly thinks Mike got a raw deal. Among the evidence of wrongful conviction, he cites the fact that Desiree Washington removed her pantyliner in Mike's bathroom. I tell you what -- I think that's crap.

What else? Last night Josephine and I ate chocolate pudding and watched a bit of live videocam from Georgetown's chapel, but then we switched to an even more uplifting movie about four suburban 70s boys on a pilgrimage to a KISS concert.

Hmm, Gene Simmons or Jesus?

Friday, April 27, 2007

The baby that ate Tokyo

My father flew in tonight to see his body double.
That's Princess Margaret, enjoying her first bath a coupe of weeks ago. She's even fatter now!

All Signs Point To...

I drove by a dead deer on 66 this morning, on my way back to the hospital, and it looked like its head was pointing right at my car. And then I thought, "Oh dear (not a joke!), is this a BAD sign? Is this about Josephine??" And I worried. But then Lucy started singing and it was such a nice song: "Haaaappy Lucy! (Say it Mommy!) Haappy Daddy! (Say it Mommy!) Happy babies, Margaret and Josephine! Happy kitty cats!" that I thought maybe it cancelled out the deer.

Anyway, you be the judge: Today Josephine got another chest x-ray and it showed MORE junk in her chest, not less, which would explain why she's really not much better after seven days in the hospital... So, with that, and a slightly elevated white blood cell count, they've decided she's likely developed bacterial pneumonia. Now she's getting antibiotics in her IV. Maybe this is good?? It could help.

Or, maybe they're just making things up now??

Last night I slept at home for the first time since Friday -- David stayed at the hospital -- and it was very very nice. (Albeit guilt-producing... I felt very bad about leaving without Josephine.) The worst part about this is Josephine's look. She has a very scared, frantic look that she gets during her deep suction treatments, and it's very upsetting. For both of us. I know she won't actually remember this, but what if so much fear, at such a young age, impacts brain development? It's possible, right? All that adrenalin. All those synapses. What if an excess chemical in the brain, produced by fear, causes one to misfire? (This is the problem when you know just a little bit about too many things.) It could make her a little wacky... (that, and the genes...)

Anyway, about the signs. I do see them -- I just don't always know if they're good or bad. Back when I was living in Fort Pierce, working for the Post St. Lucie News, and driving an old Honda Accord that eventually stopped going in reverse (if you can imagine that...), I killed multiple little gray birds with my car. Not on purpose! One or two I ran over, and a third I struck dead with the front grate on my way to work. I remember its little wing flapping onto the hood, "Hello, bird-killer! (Flap, flap!) I'm right here!" When I got to work, my editor removed it with a stick and tossed it under some landscaping. (Remind me to tell my current editor just how easy he has it...) Anyway, since I wasn't doing anything to kill the birds, their deaths were their own doing, I knew it was a sign.

But of what? I still don't know. Things were pretty fun back then.

Two more things to know about signs:

First, sometimes the signs can be false! When David and I got married, there wasn't like an "aisle" to walk up, but there was this little wooden path across the dune to a beach lookout. And first the guests went up, and then the bridesmaids, and then my father and I -- but while he and I were waiting, an old man in beach trunks came up to me and said, "Don't do it!!" And I thought, oh my God, is this a sign? Is he an angel come to save me? Oooh, or a devil! Hoping to lead me astray?? (Again, you be the judge...)

Second: You can not invent them. When I applied to Harvard, I invented reasons to drive thru this residential neighborhood near my house, even though it didn't actually lead to anything, just so that I could, oh! look at that! Harvard Drive! It must be a sign! Cambridge, here I come!!! No... didn't work.

All right. To all of you have offered prayers for Josephine, thanks.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

When Did Scrubs Get Style??

Well, Josephine and I are on Day 5 in the hospital. We took her to the emergency room on Saturday when her breathing got funny, and we haven't been home since. It turns out that she does have RSV -- the very virus that Synagis is supposed to prevent. Argh! Can I sue Aetna for denying her the shot? (See below...) I want revenge. I want somebody over there to choke on their own snot for a week, like my little baby. I want somebody over there to get a tube stuck up their nose and down their throat every three hours. And then I want their poop to turn green too, just to freak them out a little more.

She is doing better and I'm hoping we'll be back home by the weekend. She needs to be able to breathe on her own (obviously) and she's not there yet. They tried taking away her oxygen this morning and the saturation levels in her blood fell too low. But she is eating -- and, as you know, I think that must be very good.

Some thoughts so far:

Arlington is not a REAL hospital. More like a hotel where they take your temperature every four hours. It has real cable TV -- Bravo, Animal Planet and FoodTV -- and accommodations en suite, as they say in Ireland. It's nice, really. I wish we could have stayed, but no...

Ambulances are very bumpy. And loud. For a couple of weeks now, ever since I got the adult education catalog from Arlington County, I've been toying with the idea of getting an EMT certification. Just to spice up my life. I am so totally over that now.

Georgetown is a real hospital. It has a crappy linoleum floor and acoustic tile ceiling and everybody looks very busy. Instead of HBO, they show real-time video from inside the hospital chapel.

The nurses know everything. We don't really see doctors, except maybe once a day for a quick swoop with the stethoscope. We see the nurses much more often. (But not really THAT often. I mean, I think we're like THATCLOSE in this country to having to take your own private nurse to the hospital with you, like they do in India and other Third World places.)

Lucy loves it! She loves the fridge with individually packaged juices and the cabinet with individually packaged rice krispies, and also the foaming hand disinfectant. She wears her stethoscope over her shoulder, like a real doctor, and checks the heart rates of our nurses.

But it's weird being back at GU in this capacity. I took a walk thru campus on Monday -- over to Wisemiller's for a blondie, to raise my spirits (and sugar level). And this what my mother-of-three self wants to know: When did sunglasses get so big? And skirts so small? And so many girls smoke! And dress better than I do for work. There was a used book sale in Red Square, which I took to be a GOOD SIGN and I got a Pete Hamill anthology and The Da Vinci Code. I hadn't read it, so that I can feel superior, but I think it's becoming part of the cultural canon and since I don't have TV at home...

(Final message to Aetna: Every day, I order what I hope to be the higher-priced dinner alternative. For example: Chicken piccata or Southwest wrap? Piccata, of course. It has a sauce. You fuckers are going to pay, pay, pay for your witless decision that brought us here.)

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Thanks a lot, Aetna!!

You refused to approve a Synagis shot for Josephine. Well, now she has bilateral pneumonia. Good thinking!

I can't wait until you get the bills for this week's adventure. Three doctor's visits (so far), one chest X-ray, two blood tests, two nasal swab tests, one new nebulizer, one prescription for Albuterol, another antibiotic on its way... If you had approved the vaccine when her doctor asked for it, you actually would have saved money -- and Josephine certainly would have been saved a lot of misery. (Margaret got the shot and caught the same cold at the same time -- and she's already feeling fine in her bouncy seat.)


(And, listen, my law school friend, don't send me any lawyer emails about this post! The truth is my defense!)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


She looks smart, doesn't she?
Last week she figured out the meaning of stoplights -- red and green, in particular. So today, as I turned right onto New York Avenue, she cried, "No, Momma! Red light means stop!" I tried to explain the whole right-turn-on-red exception, but I think she thought I was trying to get away with something.

Other things she says in the car:
"Slow down! You going too fast!"
"Don't hit the people!"
"You don't want an accident!"

And, of course, "Snacks, please!"

The Mommy Quiz

Can you identify this object?
If so, you're either a parent -- or one hell of a good auntie or uncle. (And also somebody who doesn't mind tilting their head to the side...) Unfortunately, this particular bulb syringe is getting a good workout in our house. The babies are sick, especially Josephine. They snuffle and cry, and wheeze and fret...and, of course, they hate the bulb syringe. They wave their little hands around and scream -- stop! stop! stop! And, if it's Josephine who is screaming, Margaret gets very quiet, as if to say, "I am fine over here. Really. Just fine." I'll tell you what tho, I feel very accomplished when I blow out a really big one. It's like playing sports again.

Anyway, I'm sure Lucy brought a bug home, but I'm blaming Aetna anyway. In the hospital, both girls got a shot of Synagis, a vaccine that prevents respiratory viruses in at-risk infants. It lasts for 30 days. Then, two weeks ago, Margaret got a second shot, but Aetna won't cover Josephine's. She might not yet weigh 6 pounds. but she's considered healthier than her pudgy sister, who still has heart problems. Anyway, we appealed, but they rejected her again. If we smoked, she could get it. And it's $1,200 a shot.

Not that Aetna has been terrible (although they systematically reject one twin's bill every time I take them both to the doctor -- hello! it's not a duplicate bill! there are two children!) These babies have cost close to $200,000 -- with all the ultrasounds, echocardiograms, etc. -- and I think I've personally paid about $15. Can you imagine if you didn't have insurance?? It's totally crazy.

I'm voting for John Edwards, by the way.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Part 2

A couple of years ago, one of my sisters and I saw a psychic at a Connecticut spa. Get a pedicure, hear your fortune, eat low-call food that's supposed to taste high-cal, that kind of thing. Anyway, the psychic told me that I was an extraordinarily lucky person and I thought, well... I don't know about EXTRAORDINARY, but I think I am pretty lucky, yes. Generally speaking, I think things are usually going to end up okay and they do. So, you can imagine my surprise, finding myself at 4 a.m., a few nights after Christmas, praying to the Mother of God and my dead grandmother for intercession.

And that's because, by Christmas, it was pretty clear that the twins did have TTTS. In fact, by Thanksgiving, the writing was on the wall -- my little piggie was swimming around in 5 centimeters of fluid, while her wee sister barely floated in just 2. By Christmas, it was closer to 10 and 1. I remember being up in Connecticut and my sister saying, "Oh, I think you're getting bigger before our eyes! What nice fat babies you're going to have!" But no, it was just fluid, as we moved swiftly into the first stage of the syndrome. (And it was hard not to think of her as a big ol' selfish piggie. I told one of the many doctors that we saw that I thought it portended poorly for her personality. She politely disagreed -- and I'm sure wrote something about the mother's poor perception of reality in our chart.)

Anyway, we cut short our vacation to see a TTTS specialist at the University of Maryland in Baltimore. And I think that's maybe when we really did get lucky. There are only like 10 or so centers in the country where they treat TTTS with laser surgery -- the latest thing -- and we lived just about 45 minutes from one. I kept thinking, what if I lived in Kansas? What would I do? The babies wouldn't have a chance! (I would never live in Kansas, but that's beside the point... stay with me, here.)

Anyway, I felt good about the place -- at least they knew what they're talking about. And I liked that when the head doctor reviewed the ultrasound scans, and took a second look himself, he didn't mind leaning against my leg to reach the other side of my gigantic belly. I rationalized that if he could touch my maternity corduroys, he probably wasn't going to deliver very bad news. One would maintain a certain distance, at least a few inches of decorum, I think, if one was going to say something like, "Your babies are dying."

The actual ultrasounds were done by a very fashionable doctor -- leather boots and well-tied scarves -- who said absolutely nothing, but frequently winced. When I asked her how it looked, she told me to save my questions for the end. She needed to concentrate. She had some kind of accent and I decided she was Israeli. (They're all humorless people and I can say so because my husband is almost Jewish.)
Okay, okay! Not all of them.

Anyway, they decided not to do surgery (after we get my mother on a plane down here to watch Lucy) for many reasons, but they can be summed up like this: The babies would likely die. Of course, the babies would likely die if we did nothing too... but they reasoned that I was at 25 weeks and we really only needed to get to 28 weeks. I didn't want 28-week babies. I told them that I wanted surgery. The doctor said, "Well, if you really really want it, I will do it. But I don't want to." And what can you say to that?

We opted for medication, hoping it would reduce the fluid around the big baby. And it did, but it also caused some heart problems with the big baby, who already had heart problems -- a thickening in the heart wall that might require surgery. Now, in addition, something, a ductus maybe, was closed that should have been open, or maybe it was the other way around... (There was so much to process!) And then, our pediatric cardiologist found there wasn't enough blood going to the little one's brain either. Aw, fuck -- and you know I don't often swear -- now that sounded bad. (Or was it?? Our expert in Baltimore argued that the cardio guy was just measuring wrong. It is a very difficult measurement, he said archly.)

A low point: The fluid around ma petite drops to 0.5 centimers. She is what they call, in medical parlance, "a stuck baby." And then her bladder disappeared. "Um, where did it go?" I asked. "Because, it was just there last week..." It wasn't really GONE, they explained, it was just empty -- and because the ultrasound only sees fluid, it disappeared from the picture.

But the weeks were going by, 26, 27, 28, 29, and the babies were still cooking. And finally, the Israeli cracked. One day, she actually smiled. "I think you're going to find success," she said.

(To be continued...)

Monday, April 16, 2007

My Fair Lady

Oh, I made one of those embarrassing mistakes this weekend! Like asking somebody when their baby is due... and, you know, they're not actually pregnant... (A hostess at a Thai restaurant asked me that once, when I was grabbing take-out before a school board meeting. She said, "Oh, hungry, yes? Eating for two!" and patted her tummy. She was obviously insane, because I was NOT pregnant and I was running like four miles a day back then and I didn't look pregnant either. It was just a big shirt! And half of that food was for the Sun-Sentinel reporter, I swear.)

Anyway, Lucy and I, and Auntie Pamela too, were at the Arlington County library book sale, and one of their younger volunteers was very helpfully picking out books for Lucy. He grabbed a Dora counting book and then a Teletubbies book (totally bizarre, as you might expect, a pink cloud floats into the Teletubby house and then La-La drops her tubbie custard on the floor!) and every time, I'd say, "Oh, Lucy, look! What a nice boy! He brought you another book! Thank you, thank you!"
He was about 8, I guess.

But he was a GIRL!
She was even wearing a nametag that said Olivia!

Ack. I felt very bad. She had a cute little blond haircut (much like Lucy...) and I don't know why I thought she was a boy. But when we were leaving, she handed us one last one -- a puppy with googly eyes -- and said, "I think maybe he'll like this one too."

Oooh...Fair play to you, girlie.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

If it's context you want...

Then it's context you shall get.
It started like this: We were up at Cape Cod in August and I couldn't stop swilling orange juice or stealing slices of white American cheese from the fridge. At the same time. I had zero appetite for the Friendly Fisherman's lobster roll.
What gives?
When we got home, I called the midwives. (Because I am that kind of gal.) My old midwives, who delivered Lucy with great success, had been forced to cut back on their practice for financial reasons. (The patriarchy!) And, anyway, they deliver babies at Sibley, which is in the far northwest corner of DC. (As Miss Julia, the infant teacher at Lucy's daycare, says: "You don't see many of my folks there. But they were very nice to me.")
So, I went to the DC Birth Center in NE DC, much closer to our old house in Brookland, but smack in the hood. Before our first appointment, they made David and I attend an orientation session with the other parents. (David was the only dad.) And they asked questions like: "Does anybody know what anemia is?"
"That like chlamydia?"
Anyway, I liked them. Midwife Lara had rhinestone butterfly glasses and hundreds of Amish babies under her belt, and I could see her delivering my baby-to-be with confidence and good humor. They had some quirks -- like they made me take a drug test (but were very understanding when I failed -- joke!) and they don't normally order ultrasounds for healthy mothers. But I told Lara, hey, I like an ultrasound and she said okay.
"Since you'll be 35 when the baby is born, a woman of 'advanced maternal age,' you can have one," she said. (Great...) And then, also during that first visit, she checked out my belly and says, "Are you sure about the dates? Because you feel a little big."
(Okay, so now I'm old AND fat??)
"Maybe it's twins," she said
"No. I don't want twins," I said
"Okay...Then it's not twins," she agreed.
Fast forward: It is twins.
"You cursed me!"
"Um, yes I did," she said uneasily. And then, on top of that, she dumped me! They're not insured for twin deliveries. (The patriarchy strikes again!) Now, I've got to find a new doctor (and hopefully one who doesn't necessarily think that two babies means one ticket to the operating room.) But, in the meantime, I continued to see the neonatologist at Washington Hospital Center for ultrasounds. She's lovely.
We learn that they're identical, sharing one placenta with a thin membrane between the two. One is slightly bigger than the other with slightly more amniotic fluid. This is something to watch, we also learn, as it can develop into a rare syndrome -- Twin Twin Transfusion Syndrome or TTTS, in which the bigger baby steals resources from the little baby. For the big baby, it's too much. Gluttony is a sin! They usually die of heart failure. For the little baby, it's not enough, and they die of starvation.
Sounds scary.
But I am quite sure that won't happen to my babies.
(To be continued...)

Friday, April 13, 2007

Nobody I know...

I'm reading Little Children by Tom Perrotta, the guy who wrote Election. He writes, "The young mothers were telling each other how tired they were. This was one of their favorite topics, along with the eating, sleeping, and defecating habits of their offspring, the merits of certain local nursery schools, and the difficulty of sticking to an exercise routing. Smiling politely to mask a familiar feeling of desperation, Sarah reminded herself to think like an anthropologist: I'm a researcher studying the behavior of boring suburban women. I am not a boring suburban woman myself."
Oh dear...cuts a wee bit close to home, that.
Sarah rescues herself with a red bikini and an affair with a guy called The Prom King. Not me. I'll never wear a bikini again. But I am thinking of buying a new bathing suit from Boden. Blue meadow? Or Midnight Bubbles?

And, a real conversation with Lucy:
"Lucy-lu, what do you think, should we go pick up Daddy at the office?"
"He sleeping."
"No, he's working -- at the office."
"No, he sleeping!"
"At the office?"
"Um, no, he works at the office..."
"NO! SHHHHUSH! Listen to me! TIME OUT!"
Well, I think, good for him.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Your loss, baby!

Doesn't she look smart? Searching for riches like Balboa!
Well, she is, I assure you. She knows letters!
Still, it is becoming increasingly apparent that we have been rejected by the Montessori preschool where we interviewed two weeks ago. (I know! An interview! For a 2-year-old! -- and even crazier than that, we failed!) I'm pretty sure it's not Lucy's fault. She put together their stupid frog puzzle. She even pushed in the chair when she got up from the table. What a well-mannered child...)
No, it was me.
If I could imagine the director's point of view...
Parent show up on time. (+5 points)
Parents read to child while waiting. (+5 points)
Oh dear, child appears to be wearing black patent leather party shoes. Tell parents we don't allow those kinds of shoes in school. Parents laugh and say daughter wanted to wear them. Who's in charge here? And her hair looks wild. Ever heard of a comb, Mommy? (-10 points)
Also, let parents know that we don't allow clothes with "characters" on them. Parents say child likes a certain Winnie-the-Pooh shirt. They should keep it to themselves. Parents are quick to add that they don't have television in their homes. Think this is pathetic attempt to make up for Elmo undies, but positive nonetheless. (0 points)
Begin tour. Mother says she's very familiar with Montessori concepts. Good. (+5 points)
Father isn't paying attention. (-5 points)
Enter classroom. Mother wants to know why "Max" has to eat by himself, at a desk facing the wall, while the other children eat together at tables. Because Max can't keep his hands to himself! Mother looks unhappy. Obviously, there is no discipline in their house. (-10 points)
Mother compliments us on classroom supplies, which are abundant, if I say so myself. Explain that our children learn quickly to recognize letters, read, do math, etc. They look impressed! (+10 points)
Child meets one-one-one with teacher. Leaves parents cheerfully. Does puzzle. Follows directions. Very sweet girl! (+15 points)
Mother wants to know where Black and Hispanic children are hiding. Hypocrite -- she's the one who moved to North Arlington! (-10 points)
Mother wants to know if we take special-needs children. Um, I don't think so... (-15 points)
Father isn't paying attention. (-5 points)
Mother wants to know how we handle discipline problems. Explain that we don't expect children to share -- sharing is totally overrated, no? -- and so, we don't have many problems. Mother looks mystified. Wonder if she's not very smart. Then again, dim parents are easily led. (0 points)
Show them circle time, lunchroom, nap room. Father carries child. (Oh no! Is she special needs? Maybe just spoiled...) (-5 points)
Talk about gender differences. Mother claims to know Leonard Sax. Could this be true? Wonder if she can get him to visit school... (+10 points)
Conclude tour in playground. Child runs off. Good. Independent play is very Montessori. (+5 points)
Review application again. See Father works for county government. Can he do something about the traffic out front? (+5 points)
Oh no! Mother works for Communist teacher union! We don't need that kind of crap here. My teachers are very very happy the way things are, I can assure you. (-15 points)
Total score? Oh dear...
Anyway, we were supposed to get a call last week, if they had a spot for Lucylu. WhatEVER! I have been rejected from better schools than this, I can assure you. And I think they were a little too serious for us anyway. Poor little Max! And all that talk about letters, reading, blah-blah. Give me a break. I like books. I love books! But I don't care if Lulu learns to read at age 3. And, call me crazy, but I think it's good to share. We went to visit a different preschool last week and I told them right off, "Look, I just want her to play, okay?"

In other news, Margaret has lost her mind! Baby, you need to sleep! She's making me crazy, and she's certainly irritating the heck out of Josephine. The night before last, she was up from 3 a.m. to 5 a.m., and she spent the day with her big eyes and O mouth, waving her little fingers in the air, saying, "Feed me! Feed me!"
My favorite game: If Margaret were an animal, I'd say she'd be a hippo. She looks very cute and round, but don't be fooled. She's fierce, especially when hungry.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

I Married Mello Yello!

Here's David. What has Arlington County done to him?? He's wearing a "Plant a Tree" t-shirt, new hemp jeans (with a Maryjane flower on the back pocket), and a girl baby. He just got home from work, took off his hobbit shoes and sat down next to, yes, our bag of recyclables. (Every week I hear: "Can you believe they won't take...?") Last week, he bicycled to work. The week before, he paid good money to register for a "rain barrel" workshop. And, practically every day, he says things like, "Hey, you know you can compost that tea bag."

In other news, during college, I worked for an English professor who ran a writing program at Lorton, the maximum security prison in Virginia. (She was very cool. She had two kids, a boy and a girl, and her daughter had her last name and her son had her husband's last name. I suggested the same plan to David years ago, but he said no. Turns out, he wouldn't have gotten such a good deal! But how did he know that?? Creepy!) Anyway, I was supposed to type -- not edit! -- the prisoner essays, so that she could print them and return them to the men. But, of course, I couldn't help but fancy them up with such bourgeois nonsense as periods -- and now I feel a little guilty about that.
What would start like this:
"I took up my piece felt its cold ran outside"
Ended up as this:
"I took up my piece!" (Oh my God!)
Anyway, I was thinking about those guys because I just read a short story by Lester Irby, who I don't really know anything about, except that he spent 30 years in prison. He can use punctuation and he must have had a better editor than me: "Daddy ended up knocking Junior to the floor--then started shouting at him. 'Nigger, get yo' ass up and get the fuck outta my house. You don't wanna go to school, you don't wanna work. Get the fuck out and don't come back until you get some sense."
My version: "Dad knocked Junior to the floor! And shouted, "!@#$, get up and get out of my house! You don't want to go to school and you don't want to work. Get out and don't come back until you straighten up and fly right, kiddo!"

Monday, April 9, 2007

Tchabo, Tchabo!!

I saw Dr. Tchabo today for a six-week postpartum visit. He's going to be talking about the girls at a conference next week on Twin Twin Transfusion Syndrome. I almost asked him if he wanted to take them and pass them around... They're celebrities! (Can they demand Perrier in their preemie formula? Satin sheets in their crib?) Anyway, I never understand everything he says, which I think was for the best when I was pregnant. ("Lady Ellen! Blah-blah, you're doing a wonderful job! Blah-blah, cervix, maybe next week? Blah-blah, don't worry! There will be no surprises!) I know for sure he used the word miracle today. And I guess they are.
I came home and looked at the TTTS survival rates again (I had been trying to forget them for the past six months). In our situation, without surgery or amnio-reduction, it's less than 5 percent. **
(See?! Pretending everything is fine IS a viable strategy!)
In other news, David picked up an anti-Bush book, "Cruel and Unusual," at the salvage yard last weekend, along with a set of interior wood doors. Some of our Easter gang yesterday thought the publisher was reaching out to the wrong demographic, but hello? Republicans buy new, I can assure you! Still, I'm not reading it. I don't need another white guy in wire-rimmed glasses telling me why Bush stinks.
Two more years...

** Five percent is when you just wait and see. I did take that crazy drug for a week, which was supposed to work like an amnioreduction (without the big needle). So, maybe it's more accurate to look at survival rates for amnioreduction?? That would be 40 percent.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Happy Easter!

This is a happy Easter face.
And, for another happy Easter face, my friend Cynthia is in Sunday's Post. ( She made a "protreck" with Peeps that beat out more than 530 other entries. It's great! Of course, even as she won my admiration, she also revealed her wackydoodle ways to... oh dear, exactly 1,000,565 readers.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Just a liddle bit!

Three things I will hear today:
1) "I want to make a protreck!" Lucy's projects involve magazine pictures -- Smithsonian is good, Vanity Fair not so great -- as well as googly eyes, pompoms, rotini, Cheerios, and Flintstone vitamins. I think it's her ticket to Georgetown. (It's much more competititve than when I got in!)
2) "Tzeek!" When I was a kid, I invented my own bad word: ROCCOFARCO! Imagine my pride then that Lucy has done the same. It works especially well when somebody pinches her tushie.
3) "Just a liddle bit!" Every night, when we go to bed, Lucy sucks happily away on her beloved baba until it squeaks. And then, she says, "More milk??? Come on... Just a liddle bit?"

And three more things I did hear:
1) "Doctor Lucy here! You need a shot!"
2) "No, Mommy, stop singing!" (Why?) "Because I busy!"
3) "Thank you for sharing, Mommy."

Friday, April 6, 2007

Falling for Banville

Listen to this, a description of a hangover: "His eyes scalded, they felt as if they had been boiled; he closed them, and shivered as the lids touched, imparting to each other along their inflamed edges a tiny, horrible kiss."
Isn't it great? (And, speaking from experience, quite accurate...)That's John Banville -- from his latest book, Christine Falls. I swear, I think he might be the greatest living writer. (And not just because he's Irish.) Each of his words is perfect for its place.
When the babies were in the NICU, I also read Banville's The Sea. That was more lush. (Lusher? Sounds like a drunk.) I think it was depressing, but it might have been my state of mind then -- which wasn't great. The girls were stuck in their isolettes, like those novelties in ice cubes, and Margaret looked on the verge of limbo. You know how chests are always heaving in a certain kind of book? Well, her chest really was heaving and it's nothing like those books.
I told my friend Alain that I was enjoying Banville again and he found this fabulous quote from Banville's wife. She described him during the writing process as being like "a murderer who's just come back from a particularly bloody killing."
And, in other news: George the bald eagle at the Wilson bridge -- the poor guy who lost his wife Martha last year -- has a new love. If you might remember, some wacko eagle attacked Martha and sent her to the hospital for weeks. And then, while not yet fully recovered, she flew into some high-tension wires and died. Anyway, it's nice that George has found love again -- except that he's hooked up with the crazy bird who attacked Martha!
And, in other, other news: The babies are six weeks old today!
Okay, one last Banville: "He had a nose like a mildewed potato."

Thursday, April 5, 2007

oh, poops!

So, we moved to Arlington -- from the carjacked streets of NE DC -- in part because I fell in love with the playgrounds. Oi! No broken glass under the slide! (Seriously...) And, of course, it helped that the libraries had wood puzzles and Kipper DVDs, and the schools are great. All these public amenities made up for leaving our friends. (Sort of.) Anyway, on Monday, we took Lucy and the twins to the big playground near Yorktown. It was an absolutely beautiful day and I was thinking, oh, maybe life isn't so bad here in the first-tier suburbs... Lucy was getting a huge kick out of the catwalk climb to the big slide -- although she refused to go down it. My little chicken. Still, it was fun.
And then, a little boy pooped on the sidewalk. Right there! As the ladies at Lucy's daycare say, "Whaaaa?!" I think his mother was one of those diamond-earring gals chatting busily by the sandpit -- because she didn't notice.
But Lucy certainly did!!
In other news, I have a clogged millk duct. (Too much, too early??) The mummies at babycenter offer lots of advice, including these two gems: Find the "white pimple" on your nipple and pop it. Hmm... Or, just as gross to some readers, I'm sure, ask your husband to "suck it out." Anyway, if the two little peanuts would just breastfeed already, instead of making me pump all the time, pump, pump, pump, pump, I'm sure this wouldn't have happened.
I blame the babies.
(Today is their due date!)