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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...)


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