Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Wait, He Eats Vomit From Strangers?

I have officially been on "low activity" leave from work for 7 business days. We all know I was a social misfit before but now the only person I talk to all day is Fenway. I have started befriending all the people at the doctor's office but honestly, they seem to think it's weird. I, however, feel that their fake friendship is simply another aspect of the quality healthcare I am receiving at Columbia. When Ug called the other day about the botched ultrasound it was clear that he didn't get my humor but did that stop me from pushing my way into his heart? Oh no. When I went in, after my u/s, I was pretty happy about the whole cervix being longer thing. I came out and was like "Give me five, my cervix is longer." By force of reflex he gave me five but the look on his face said, "Does she have some kind of syndrome?" Yeah, being away from all human contact for hours a day has made me even less socially desirable than I was before, frightening as it is. I also told Ug that next Thursday we are going to bet on how long the wait will be and that the winner would get a candybar. He went along with it but the enthusiasm was severely lacking so I am going to have to work on him.

On the other hand, Lovey, totally knows my name just by looking at my face. YES!

Being the constant companion of a four-legged friend is fine but it reminds me how weird he really really is. First of all, he will only sleep like this during the day:

Face planted firmly in the crook of my leg. The same face that he uses to eat rocks, metal, feathers, pillow stuffing, other people's vomit from the street, leaves, you name it.

It made me think of Timba, a dog who resides with Kathy and Bradford in Arizona, and how he used to eat anything left on the counters including entire roasts, within minutes. In fact, my padre sent me this Timba update a couple months ago entitled, "DOG BURGLARS":

"Mom heard noises in the middle of the night last night, so she got up and went downstairs. Timba had just finished eating my lunch that I had in a sack to take to work today. I left it on the counter. A bag of Beef Roast left overs, 1 slice of French Bread, 1 croissant that I eat for morning break. The apple wasn't eaten, but I'm sure it was licked all over. I will need to wash it before I eat it.

Timba is living up to his reputation.

You Should Have Heard The Hours of Deliberation Putting Together the Target and Babies R US Registries

It should come as no surprise that Kathy has gone hog wild, baby style. Sometimes I have to remind her to cool off but honestly, I wouldn't want to do this without her craziness. If I want to discuss the intricacies of baby socks for 40 minutes, she's my girl. Let's face it, none of you want to debate the pros and cons of 1 vs 2 Diaper Champs for an extended period of time. (You should have heard the hours of deliberation putting together the Target and Babies R Us registries). She may be a bit much at times but we love her anyway.   I bring this up because an event occurred in our lives that was so momentous it has changed all of us. We had to decide on, find, and get a triple stroller. You scoff and say, what an easy thing. YOU ARE WRONG. If I lived in say, Arizona, this would be pretty easy. I'd pick whatever was cheapest (BabyTrend in-line) and roll with it. Well, I don't live in Arizona, or anywhere normal for that matter. I live in the big apple and having triplets has become the worm in that apple. Don't get me wrong, I adore the city. I have been obsessed with it since I was a kid. I love the pace and the vivacity. I love that all types of people are all mixed together living, literally, right next door to each other. You could have a gorgeous multi-million dollar condo across the street from project housing (think Lincoln Square area). It's amazing but it is not made for people with a plethora of tiny children. But, I digress.

There are basically 2 types of triple strollers available in the US. An inline stroller where each kid is behind another (they are 'in line', get it?) and then side-by-side where the kids are, well, obviously, side-by-side horizontally. I know, the names are very dubious and difficult to decode. Well, here is the deal. In New York we have small doorways and small elevators. Side-by-sides do NOT fit through doorways and in-lines are too long for many elevators, including the subway elevators. Both Kathy and myself researched strollers for months. We sifted through hundreds of posts on triplet sites, craigslist ads, ebay, google shopping and even YouTube, trying to find a stroller that fit our needs. Finally, we found it. The ABC Adventure Buggy triple. The clouds began to part and angels began to sing. It has either two on the bottom and one on top or one on the bottom and two on top. Its as slim as a double and as short as a single, fitting through doorways and even into elevators. Now, it would be easy if this baby were available stateside. Of course it's not. It's sold in Australia and New Zealand. We went to the website and found out it would be about two grand. Yeah, two thousand smackeroos. Dos mil dolares. Clearly not happening. Well, for several weeks we checked craigslist and ebay religiously for a used one. Finally, I posted on tripletconnection to see if anyone was selling theirs and by the grace of little baby Jesus, a woman in Arizona was selling her used one. She lived in Queen Creek, most of which is about an hour from Kathy and Bradford. Kathy, more excited than even I, took it upon herself to go get this baby. No one can describe what transpired next but my padre. Here is the email he sent me. I had asked if mom was driving him batty yet with baby stuff. His reply is timeless.

"No, she isn't driving me batty, she drove me batty long ago so I'm just batty all the time. When your mom gets something into her head to do, it's hard to talk her out of it. And if I would have said we needed to wait till the weekend during the day (which I told her that) she would have gone out there alone, and she would have still been looking for this lady's house because she would have never found it. It was dark, there were no street lights, we couldn't read the signs, the google map was not very precise, some of the roads didn't go through which showed on the map, she pronounced all the street names wrong so I didn't know what she was talking about and I was getting frustrated to say the least. But, we found it, we got the stroller (it's like one of those big long cars the Nazi generals used to drive). It is a deluxe unit. Mom can't see over the top of it so she won't be much help pushing the cute babies around. I tried to get Timba to sit in it and I was going to push him around the living room but He didn't want anything to do with it.
On our way home we stopped by Safeway to get food and I needed to get gas in the truck. I let mom out in the front to go in and get the food and stuff and then I went and got gas. I parked close to the front door so she would see me when she walked out. As she was coming out of the store, I backed up and started going forward so she could come around to the side and get in. Well she ran over to the next line of parked cars (about 40 feet away) and then when I stopped she came over and got in. I asked her why she was clear over there and she says she didn't want me to run her over.
After we got home, I grabbed the top portion of the stroller from the back of the pickup and Mom insisted she would get the stroller out and also pull her car in the garage. Well she got everything in all right but then I noticed she was limping and holding her wrist. I asked her why she was limping and she said she fell out of the back of the pickup onto the street. She had black dirt and oil all up and down one side of her.
That Mom is a funny one but I still love her as I do you and Alicia (she just got done wrecking my truck).
It's a tough life living with goofy girls.
Love and Kisses,

Literally, every single thing we make fun of Kathy for; not saying any words right, being clumsy, being too wound up and having to get something done immediately and so many more things were RIGHT THERE in one situation. I died laughing.

Eventually, the stroller got in the house and got set up and here is what that baby looks like:

The hazy figure in the back is either a. a ghost or b. Bradford. I'll let you decide.

For more information go to www.gobubbago.com.au. Their videos are awesome.

Update: Less than a month after we thought we got an amazing deal by buying this used, the manufacturers costs went down and a brand new one could be purchased for literally $100 more than what I paid for this one.  And, we learned that a major component of this stroller was broken and the whole thing could fall apart.  Thus, after spending $100 fixing that we paid the same price as a brand new one.  Why didn't I see that coming?  I should know by now.

Welcome To The Big Apple B*&%!es

As you know, we live in NYC. This is a city definitely not designed for multiples unless you are rich and other people can take care of the hard stuff. We have had to make many changes to our space in order to be able to fit all these soon-to-be babies. First, the car. We bought this lovely little Hyundai Elantra about 14 months ago. We went with 4 doors because we knew we were thinking about having a kid. Notice the use of the singular article "a" there. We were thinking about having a kid, like one kid. As we all know that didn't exactly happen. Now, that lovely little Elantra we bought specifically to grow the family is grown out of a mere 14 months later. Ugh. So, I scour all my little triplet message boards about what cars people have and come to the conclusion that, though it may kill my spirit, a minivan is by far the most reasonable option. I swore to myself that I would NEVER get a minivan. I simply could not live with myself if I had to drive a minivan. Well, we are now the proud owners-well, not really proud, but owners, anyway, of a 2007 Honda Odyssey. Here is the beast: Many of you have brought up the idea of the SUV and the crossover. Trust me, I tried to convince myself that those options were just as great. In the end though, the crossover had enough room for the people but getting a triplet stroller, a couple diaper bags and some groceries in there too was getting to be a bit much. As far as the SUV goes, well, I can barely park the van so any SUV with room for the people AND the stuff was both too wieldy for parallel-parking-impaired self and ate more gas than even the minivan, which is a lot.

The car is certainly not the only place I have had to re-invent space. Maybe you missed it but we live in NYC. By New York standards our apartment is considered very decently sized. In the rest of the world, it's tiny. We also pay more than you do for your house. We have 2 bedrooms however, the 2nd bedroom is extremely small and has no closet. Welcome to the big apple bitches. So there is a lovely little Youtube Video of how our apartment used to look:

We had added some curtains to cut the living room in half soon after that video was shot but other than that, we didn't change much. That is, until the babies hit. I say they hit because the babies are like a natural disaster. They change everything in your life. Literally, everything from what you do all day to what you drive to how you feel to how you live. Well, the baby stuff completely took over the side of the front room near the patio. The whole side looked like this:
And the office looked (and still looks) like this:
As I got to work, however, we got a new dresser thing to put stuff in and made some changes and now it looks like this:

Eric is being very patient but honestly for every bag or box I undo I have to go through a whole room. For instance, there is a bag of bottles and bottle sanitizers and stuff that needs to go in the kitchen. Well, that's easy enough. No, actually, it's not easy enough. I have to re-arrange the entire kitchen in order to make space for the baby stuff. Every bag is a different room so it is certainly slow going. Someday, the desk will be out of the office, the bed and dressers from the 2nd bedroom will be in the office/living room, 3 cribs and a dresser will be set up in the 2nd bedroom. Yeah, eventually. So, if anyone is just dying to do some serious re-arranging and organizing come on over!! Also, all that furniture that has to be moved and put together and whatnot, yeah, Eric and Bradford are going to have fun with all that over Christmas. And they thought this was going to be a vacation.  As if.

So, Today Isn't the Sixth?

So, I had that Fetal Echo scheduled for the 6th. I woke up this morning (Tuesday) started blogging and got ready to go. This one was inside the Babies Hospital which is inside the Children's Hospital. First of all, it is the most horrifying place to go. I am sure kids love it but for an actual adult I was scared out of my mind. The bathroom had 2 toilets, a regular sized one and a tiny one. The waiting room was chuck full of people and children and video games. You know all the kids are like wicked sick too which is just depressing. Anyhow, after taking the wrong elevators and coming back down to find the correct ones, I finally made it to the right room. She calls me up and asks, "What is your last name?" "Silverstein", I reply. "Do you have another last name?" "No." "Let me look you up. What is your full name and date of birth?" I tell her. "Your appointment was yesterday. You missed it." A look of pure shock and horror crossed my face. I ask, "So, today isn't the 6th?" "No, yesterday was the 6th. Today is the 7th." AAAAAAAHHHHHHGGGGG!! Remember how Lovey worked her tail off to get this appointment? Yeah, now I have to go over and tell her I f'ed it all up. I was certain she was going to murder me and my unborn children. I got myself together and walked over to the building. I enter with trepidation and she is sitting at the desk. I tell her what I did and how incredibly sorry I am. She is incredibly annoyed but kindly makes a few calls and gets me in for the 15th. Thank you scheduling gods. Thank you. So, what should I bring her on Thursday? I was thinking a Reese's cause nothing says I'm sorry like peanut butter and chocolate.

So, in a nutshell, I took a twenty dollar cab ride to get five dollars worth of Wendy's chicken nuggets. Seems logical.

It’s Like Puberty All Over Again. Gee, That Was So Fun The First Time

I have decided being pregnant is like going through puberty all over again. Your body is changing in truly frightening ways, half the time you don’t know if you are normal or have a disfiguring disease. People are trying to gently help you through the process, giving you books about your changing body. Your hormones are wacked out and your nickname could be pizza face. I can’t tell you how often I have had to text my friend Jenn (someone who has been preggo) and ask if this or that is normal or if body parts are going to start falling off. So far, everything is, apparently, normal. Although honestly, talk about redefining normal. I have been pretty good with the hormones. However, the other day I got up and there was no milk and cereal. Eric said he would go to the corner and get some. As he was getting ready I started BAWLING. Not crying, bawling. Like howling. He was sure something truly terrible had occurred and when he asked what was wrong, I told him the truth. I was just extremely disappointed that there was no cereal and milk. The lack of cereal and milk in the house at that exact moment was simply too much for me to handle. He backed away slowly, as you should with any large, wild animal that seems to be diseased and possibly have rabies. He then got the milk and cereal, which cured the whole dilemma.

Actual Information About Multiples

It has been brought to my attention that some people who have recently found out they are having multiples are reading this blog. Just FYI, if you want REAL information about the topic I would suggest babycenter.com and join the community group Triplet Moms and Moms To Be. Also, join TripletConnection.com. They are a plethora of information. Real information. Not whiny, though at times witty, re-hashings of doctor appointments. However, when you join tripletconnection, it won’t let you sign in and won’t tell you why. You have to email them and they will request some info about you like phone number and address and then they will activate your account. Of course, it would be too easy to just ask for that info up front or somehow let you know that that is what they need.

Whose Urine Is That In There?

My medical adventures continue on this issue of the blog. First of all, I just want to say that when I walked into the medical building not too long ago there was a woman running around squawking like a chicken at the top of her lungs. I made sure to get on a different elevator. So, there’s that for ya.

This is why it took me so long to update this silly little blog. My doctors have decided to use me as not only a patient, but also an experiment in psychology, messing with my mental state every time I go in. Several check-ups ago they saw something in the cord flow on the ultrasound. The doc who was on ultrasound duty at the time basically told me that he felt it was completely insignificant at this gestational age. Phew. He then proceeded to tell me all the disasterous things that it could mean if it continues, of course, ending in certain death for everyone involved (as these doctors always end with). He then assured me I shouldn’t worry about all the things he just discussed because it was probably nothing. Being the cool-head that I am, of course, I immediately started to worry. Panic really. Then he says we will do weekly ultrasounds from now on to watch it. That actually made me happy. In the front office he tells the schedule guy (who we will most certainly get to later…oh will we ever) to schedule me in a week or 10 days. Whoa cowboy, didn’t you say a week? So then he looks at the schedule and puts me in for 13 days later. Seriously? You put me in a state of complete panic, re-assure me by telling me I’m coming back next week and then don’t schedule me for nigh-on 2 weeks? I am pretty sure this whole operation is merely a continuance of the medical “research” started by Nazis all those years ago. I call my doc just to make sure this is fine and apparently it is (yeah, they are ALL in on it). I return to work just in time to dress up like a pig and join in the Halloween party (because clearly this was what I was in the mood to do).

Two weeks later I go back and low and behold, everything is completely fine. The tech is really talkative and funny. This was the first appointment where my cervix was checked. Part of that process involves pushing “like you’re having a bowel movement.” I did that and farted. While the lady has the vaginal ultrasound thing in there I totally farted. Maybe this is why I have a dog instead of friends. Anyway, moving on, I am scheduled to see good old Devine at this appointment, who seems appalled that her partner even brought up the cord flow. She tells me that what they saw is completely normal for such an early gestational age. This is about the time I want to a. sing hallelujah that everything is fine, and at the same time b. scream that Cee-Lo Green song at the top of my lungs.

She did put me on weekly ultrasounds however. I got to spend a significant amount of time watching Lovey (works the front desk, is way funner than Hot Stuff) try to re-arrange schedules with every department in and out of the practice trying to fit me into various appointments for the next several weeks. Finally, she had everything booked for the next month and I went home with a list of appointment times and places (there are several locations and buildings within the hospital grounds that I end up at). Remember that this took a really, really long time and was extremely frustrating for her and everyone on the other end of the phone ‘cause that is going to be funny later.

So, I go in the next week for my appointment and once again everything looks hunky dory (sp?). So good in fact, that the doctor decides to change the appointment schedule to every week and a half! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Remember all those appointments that Lovey set up, and cursed under her breath? Yeah, she now has to cancel all of them and re-set up appointments every week and a half. It was pretty amazing and hilarious. I just watched, listened, laughed and let her know that I would try my hardest to need it changed again next time. While I was sitting there, one of the nurses came out and asked another, “Whose urine is that in there?” Ah, yes, the age old question.

I had a whole glorious week with no appointments. It was great. Then, I went in on Tuesday for an ultrasound. Well, my cervix appeared to have shortened. The doctor came in and, being as she was a part of the psychological experimentation, told me not to worry. She then told me all the wretched and devastating things that could happen if it continues to shorten. Ending in, YOU GUESSED IT, certain death for everyone involved. Great. Lucky for Lovey I already had a fetal echocardiogram scheduled for the following Tuesday and an ultrasound on Thursday of that same week. I set off for a week of worry. On this same day a certain sister-in-law had a ridiculously adorable new baby so I drove out to their house in the ‘burbs of Jersey. It is kindof a long ride. About 15 minutes after I get there, Ultrasound Scheduling Guy (let’s call him Ug) calls.
“Hi this is”
“I know, the ultrasound guy, I recognize your voice. That’s how few friends I have.”
“Uh, yeah, are you still at the hospital?” (He doesn’t get my humor, probably because it's not funny)
“No….” (At this point I am mostly confused.)
“Well, can you come back?”
“Uh…” (Now it’s unadulterated panic.)
“ Nothing is wrong, we”
“Good grief, you really should have led with that”
“Yeah, we just forgot to do the dopplers”
“Oy, well, I am out of town right now. Is Thursday ok?”
“Great, when do you want me there?”
“How early can you come”
“I can’t work anymore so honestly I am WIDE open”
“Ha Ha, okay well, how about 8:30?”
“Great. See you then.”

So, on that Thursday I go in for a second ultrasound of the week. Of course I am in the waiting room til after 9. I should know by now just to show up half an hour late for every appointment. Of course, everything is fine and dandy. The cervix is longer and baby A is kicking the crap out of it. Thank heaven I can’t feel that yet. So, I get to be relieved for a while. At least until I go in on Tuesday for my fetal echo.

The View From Up Here

I am 21 weeks as of December 8. As my body increases exponentially in size, I thought it would be nice for you to see what life looks like from my point of view, from above and behind THE STOMACH (insert horror movie music here). So, I took a picture:

Now, I started growing out of my own clothes rather quickly and could only wear maternity pants by about 9 weeks, so I knew this would get bad and get bad it most certainly did. Picture it. Sunday night. I am 16 weeks pregnant. All 3 pairs of my maternity pants are dirty (to the point where I couldn’t just pull them out for a day) so I start trying on dresses that I have been able to put leggings under and pull off. Well, my stomach isn’t the only thing that has grown. My upper-body is now the size of a person who eats cheeseburgers twice a day so the dresses no longer fit. Eric suggests I wear a pair of his pants just for a day.I am pretty disheartened thinking that his pants will fit but figure, whatever, it’s one day and I stopped actually caring what I looked like long ago (like way before I got pregnant). I grab a pair of Eric’s pants and put them on. As I begin to button them I just start yelling. They don’t even come close to fitting. I am literally a huge huge cow who cannot even fit into her husband’s pants.
I wish I could say that was the only time the sheer monstrosity that is my body has reared it’s ugly head.  Alas, it is not. Not a couple weeks ago I decided to wear some zip boots. I put them on only to discover that those parts of my legs that used to be considered calves would no longer allow the boot to zip around them.Thanks a lot a-holes.
*Bonus points to anyone who caught the Golden Girls-inspired storytelling there.
Here are a few more views of THE STOMACH.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

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Saturday, October 23, 2010

We Prefer Black Kids Anyway

As usual, and pretty much as expected, Eric and I are not normal. Instead of having a precious little bouncing baby we are having 3. Three times the hormones, three times as fat and three times as many doctor visits. We also get the force of everybody else's reaction to the news. Don't worry. I was as shocked as you were. For the first several minutes after Doctor Wang (not his stripper name either) told me, all I could say was, "Oh, Shi*. (That little asterisk is for all you kids out there, by the way). Before this happened to me (insert music from Teen Mom here) I assumed that people who had this many babies were either:

a. Hyper-Religious, or
b. One of those girls whose life dream has been to be a mom, who majored in Family Studies because she knew that her one goal was to raise the perfect family.

There are several factors that influenced my thinking including; every show on TLC, the fact that the really religious people I know always seem to know several sets of multiples and are generally less surprised by the news, and, did I mention every show on TLC?

Well, clearly, I don't fit my own stereotype. People were beyond shocked that I ever got married, let alone that we are now having like 60 babies. Also, before all this happened I asked Eric, what I thought was a completely reasonable question, "What if they come out and are black?" I was a little serious but, in his reply, so was he. "Well, that'd be okay. I prefer black kids anyway."  I was shocked, cause honestly, I do too. I never expected us to agree on such an important issue.

The good part is that everyone thinks you are suddenly interesting- like any of you would be reading this if I was writing about my adventures with Fenway everyday. That interest only lasts about 3 minutes though so don't worry, after that I still let my socially awkward, nothing to say, self shine through.

Here is a sample of reactions from people:

The Woman On The Train
Scene: Me on the subway reading, When You Are Expecting Twins, Triplets or Quads. Woman looks at my book.
Woman: Oh, are you expecting twins, triplets or quads?
Me: Yeah, triplets.
Woman: Oh, wow. That is wonderful. I always wanted to have a lot of babies at once, as many as I could.
Me (out loud): Well, that's a pretty bad idea.
Me (inside my head): I am pretty sure that's a personality disorder. I think Octomom has it. You should probably seek help.

My Father
Scene: On the phone. My mother had of course already told him.
Me: So, what do you think of the news?
HIm: Wow. That is a lot of babies, like a lot of babies. People with twins are tearing their hair out. Three babies is going to be a LOT to handle.
Me: Uh, thanks for the encouragement.
Him: Yeah, that's a lot of babies.

I don't just get their reactions about the triplets. I get strangers reactions to my current lifestyle- being super fat, annoyed and having to pee every six minutes.

First, the barista at Starbucks judges me every time I order a steamer with whole milk. Of course, first they don't even know what it is even though it's on their menu so I get to handle all that confusion. Maybe they are disgusted that I am paying $3.29 for flavored milk, maybe its the whole milk choice but either way I get that "look" from them, that judging look. Stop judging me baristas. You work at Starbucks. (Disclaimer: I highly respect baristas and have often fantasized about working at Starbucks).

My friend Grace and I went to see a play, a one man show to be more precise, so it wasn't exactly a broadway production. We had excellent seats, front and center. Being the incredibly thoughtful people we are, after noticing that NO ONE was sitting in the side sections we moved to a side section in case I had to get out and pee. Maybe you missed it but there was NO ONE else sitting there so we sat in the 2nd and 3rd seats, leaving one seat by the row empty. Well, of course, this woman chooses that seat of all the empty seats in the house. I politely warn her that I may have to get out in the middle. After she rather rudely asks me why I tell her that I am pregnant and have to pee frequently. At this point I am using my cutesie, sweetheart voice, trying to be genteel and nice. Her response? "Well, you should drink less." To which I respond, "Well, either way, I might bother you if you sit there" in not such a cutesie voice. Here is what I said in my head, "Listen Beast, there are 3 babies, 3 amniotic sacs, 2 placentas (one of them rather large) and heaven knows what else all sitting extremely low and squishing my bladder so unless you want me to pee on you, LAY OFF!"

I Don't Even Know If I Like Them, Let Alone What We Should Name Them

Of course, the first person I called when I found out it was all girls was their father. I was incredibly excited to tell him that I had won and even got his swimmers on my side, to give me some females to rule this roost. Unfortunately, that means we both have to deal with them as teenagers, so that is probably gonna come back to bite me. The first words out of Eric's mouth were "Oh my god, that is amazing!" The tone made it sound more like, "Holy crap! Are you sure there isn't even one boy in there?" But, you know Eric, he can get on board and be excited and positive about anything except the Yankees. Which is basically the opposite of me, who insists on be surly and angry about everything except baseball.

After that, I pretty much told everyone. At work, the first thing people kept asking was, "What are you going to name them?" Hold on people. I have known they are girls for exactly a day. I have never felt them so much backflip. How am I supposed to know what their names are? I don't believe in naming kids in utero (yeah, it's my religious belief, back off). I see it like this, how can I know what they are supposed to be called for the rest of their lives when I don't even know if I like them, let alone what they are like?

However, you guessed it, Eric is a decision maker, a man of action if you will. So, we compromised. We came up with three names that we plan on using and WILL NOT assign them to anybody in utero. Also, in case they pull one out and we look at it and go, "Nope, it's none of those names", we also made an emergency list.

I'm going to tell you them, however, this is not a promise. Also, if you don't like them don't give me any guff. The last thing I need right now is your lip. I teach 2nd grade all day, I get enough snotty comments about how fat I am.


The middle names will be family names. Campbell, Garner and Aideh (the initals of all Eric's grandparents). Many of you who know us can clearly see old Silverstein's sentimental influence here but it's probably good. At least they will have something nice to say in school when they have to report on where their names came from. The collaboration worked out. Left to my own devices, they probably would have just had to say their names came from mommy's head. Also, if we left Eric to HIS own devices they would have been named Red Sox, Hate Yankees and Dave Matthews- all of which would be fine on boys but rather uncouth given that they are girls.

Completely Off-Topic Sidenote
The other day I saw a man and the back of his shirt said, "Where Yankee Fans get their Yankees." I spent like 3 solid minutes coming up with what the front must say. The only thing that made sense to me would be, "The Dominican Republic."  I never found out what the real front said.

Yeah, I'm That Socially Awkward

I got to go to another doctor appointment. As usual, it was a harrowing experience. This one was not with Dr. Devine but was with another lady. Let's begin at the beginning, shall we?

Making the appointment. Up to this point my interactions with doctors have been relatively limited to juicy clogged ears and the occasional PAP smear, usually done at Planned Parenthood because I am too lazy to find a real doctor, like with a medical license and everything. (That's a joke for those of you who haven't grasped my humor yet.)  I'm used to calling up and giving a few days and times and finding an appointment. Ya know, normal. Well, now I don't call them, they call me. They've really gone Hollywood over there at Columbia. I get a message that says you have an appointment on blah blah at blah blah o'clock. Your choices include: Obey or Die.

"You have something else that day? Oh, we are so sorry. TOO BAD!"
"What do you mean you have a job? Well, given our appointment scheduling you won't for long anyway. See you then!"

So I go in. I tell hot stuff there at the desk that I have an appointment for a fetal echocardiogram. To which she replies, "We don't do those on Wednesdays." Then dead silence as she stares at me expecting...who knows what. Me to give her an explanation? A candy bar perhaps?
Then she says, "I need your papers." What the *&^%? Is this Arizona or something? I get that being a white girl around here puts me in the minority but I don't do that to Mexicans, heck I live with a Mexican from the region of Chihuahua for Pete's sake.

"Uh, nobody gave me any. They just handed me this appointment and said show up. My name is Jennifer Silverstein. Maybe something got mixed up?" After giving me a completely annoyed look that only New Yorkers and Parisians have developed, she looks through the computer and says, "Oh, you have an ultrasound today." I figure, whatever, they got the two test days mixed up. No big deal. I have another appointment tomorrow (yeah, literally the next day) so I'll figure it out then.

I ask where the bathroom is cause it had been at LEAST 20 minutes since I went last. I had about 15 minutes before my scheduled time. I go take care of business and then, of course, get a bloody nose. After filling the trash bin with several bloody tissues and attempting to stay out of the way of the 4 women who came into the TINY bathroom after me, I had to make a choice:
a. Stick some tissue up my nose and tell the receptionist that I didn't bail on the appointment.
b. Keep working at it and hope for the best.
I chose b. About 20 minutes after it started I got it controlled. Now, when someone tells you they are going to the bathroom and then doesn't come back for 25 minutes, well, it gets you thinking. This is what happened with the receptionist. I walked back in, feeling shameful that I am now LATE for the appointment and hot stuff looks at me with complete disgust. I hang my head and sit down.

They call me in a few minutes later, tell me to get naked from the waste down and empty my bladder. Done and done. I hop on the crunchy, paper-lined bed and let the techs do their magic. Well, for the first 25 minutes it is literally DEAD silent. There are 2 techs there (a Russian chick and another chick) and NOBODY is saying a word. I attempted to ask a few questions, "So, what's that? What are you measuring? etc." In response I got quick 2 word answers and then back to awkward silence. We all know I am unbelievably socially awkward, which is why when you ask me to parties I usually say I'm busy. I have no idea how to crack this sitch.

Now, like you, I desperately want to know what these little muffins are (girl, boy, hermi, other). So I ask, "How many weeks 'til you can tell the sex? 16?" To which she gives the long-winded and difficult to understand response of, "Yes, about."

This is where it got weird. She starts asking about why I am doing a fetal echocardiogram so early and if we suspect anything. I tell her its just a precaution. Now, I'm confused. Why is she asking about my fetal echo when hot stuff out front said that's not what we're doing. To be clear, I ask, "What is this ultrasound looking at specifically?" She says, "Measurements, brief look at the heart." Another convoluted and difficult to understand response. Tough nut to crack.

Eventually the doctor comes in, after the techs have been doing their thing (and by 'their thing' I mean making me super uncomfortable and not speaking to me at all) for about 50 minutes. I don't know if this woman, Dr. Simpson (whose first name I REALLY wish was Lisa) was an angel sent from heaven, a vampire using her immense charm or something else entirely but EVERYBODY started smiling and chatting with me like that's what had been happening since the beginning. WTF? She asks a few boring questions and then asks if I want to know what they are or keep it secret. "I am completely desperate to find out" I tell her. To which, Russian tech responds "Oh, you do? It's all girls." I get that I don't always catch all the social queues around me but I thought that by asking when they could tell, I made it pretty obvious that I was curious. I think me and Russian girl need to go to couples counseling to learn to communicate.
So yeah, it's 3 girls. The rest of the appointment was pretty standard. They do part of the ultrasound abdominally (what I usually refer to as a pants-on ultrasound) and part vaginally (which I refer to as something Eric won’t allow me to say on the internet- if you've had one, you get it). The doctor kept trying to make me feel comfortable with my legs spread eagle and I finally had to break it to her,
"Listen, after this whole experience, I am used to everyone and their mom being up there so relax."

She swears I will get my modesty back eventually. I doubt it. Maybe people whose pregnancy journey was normal, but not me. How do you get your modesty back after spending multiple appointments with 4 (count them, 4) people all scoping around your vag at once? I don't think you do. And, I'm pretty happy about that actually.

After cleaning up and putting my clothes back on I got on the elevator to do the ride of shame back home. Well, who should walk in but the doctor? You know that weirdness after you've said goodbye to someone and then you see them again but you don't really know them that well so there's nothing to talk about? Well, do that for 12 floors and then call me.

Wandering Jew Girl C
Girl B
Girl A

Well, This Happened

Honestly, I have no explanation.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

It's Fine, Doc. You Can Put Your Hand Anywhere.

Well, on that glorious 7th day of October in the great year of 2010 we had our first appointment with the Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist. English Translation- doc who specializes in high risk pregnancies, including ones with like a million babies inside.

First, got there. Well, I got there on time anyway. A certain E. Silverstein was running late. I checked in and waited in reception hoping they wouldn't call my name before he got there. Finally, right when the appointment was scheduled Eric comes flying in the doors, wearing a suit but with his tie all crumpled up and his shirt undone. I'm like, "What were you doing?" He's like, "Whatta ya mean? I was driving." So, listen people, if you are on the road during Eric's commute, watch out. I don't know what that guy does when he is driving alone.

Second, Ultrasound. We were all worried Eric wasn't gonna make it but turns out we ended up waiting 45 mins for the ultrasound anyway.
When we finally get in this is what we see:

Three slightly deformed and creepy looking babies. Eric says they look like his father. I agree.

Then the tech, after being questioned incessantly about everything she was typing by a certain husband, got closeups of everybody:

Baby A (one of the identical twins)

I think it has Eric's poorly formed abdomen. How precious.

Baby B (the "other" identical twin)

and Baby C (who Bradford likes to refer to as The Wandering Jew)

Babies A and B were very cooperative and helpful during the Nuchal Translucency tests and all the measurements. Baby C was... well... a brat. Anyone else here thinking these must be my genes coming through?

After the ultrasound, which took almost an hour, Eric had to leave. Apparently he has some sort of job that pays for us to have three babies that he has to go to. You'll have to ask him about it. I'm a little fuzzy on the details.

I went to see Dr. Devine (no, that's not her stripper name) who gave me the amazing opportunity to pee in a cup which her lovely nurse swabbed right in front of me. Now, that's what I call service. Afterward, Dr. Devine (still not her stripper name) told me about all the creepy things that happen to people who are pregnant with zillions of babies. I summarize: Anything can happen and there is nothing anyone can do about it.

Great. Glad we got that out of the way.

She then did several lovely things including a breast exam, PAP smear and cervical check. After feeling my Venti sized uterus she said I was about the size of a woman pregnant 20 weeks. I was 12 at the time (12 weeks, not 12 years old). I am pretty sure that was her way of hitting on me.

She then told me I can only work until I am 20 weeks. That's December 1.

Afterward, I got to see how disgustingly fat I have become on her scale, got like 6 vials of blood drawn and then, like a delicious maraschino cherry added to the top of the banana split of medical tests, I got a flu shot. And to think, all that only took 4 hours. You can't know how hungry I was.

Well, now that we are preggo with all these strange alien lifeforms, my new hobby is doctor appointments. I get to go on Oct 20 for a fetal echocardiogram, on Oct 21 for another checkup with Dr. Devine and Oct. 29 for an Anatomical Survey.

Eric's new hobby is making me milkshakes with delicious protein powder and not getting annoyed when I ask him 3 times in 10 mins to get me more ice water.

Fenway's hobby is still pooping on the floor when we least expect it.

My Babies are Sadists Who Are Trying To Murder Me

The big question rolling off all your tongues is, "How are you feeling?" Now? Well, now I am feeling much better. I am certainly not feeling human but you should have seen me before. It was bad. During those first few glorious weeks of pregnancy, when I had triple the hormones a normal person does I pretty much laid in bed all day, exhausted, nauseated and having so many unmentionable digestive issues that changing my socks was often too much work. Also, I was so hungry that I started having to store PB&J sandwiches in my bed stand to eat during the night. It was pretty great for Fenway since he always got a bite. For the rest of us it was annoying. Eric already had to do everything, including wait on me hand and foot and now he had to make sandwiches before bed.

"Oh no..." You might say. Don't worry. It gets better.

After a few weeks of whatever was going on above I started NOT being nauseous 24/7. Eventually it was 22/7 and 18/7 and so on 'til now. Now I am only nauseous a tiny bit each day. I also don't have to wake up in the night to eat sandwiches. I do have to wake up a few times to pee though so it's a trade off. Lucky for Eric he is a heavy sleeper and doesn't even notice.

"Oh, it's nice that you stopped throwing up with the nausea gone." Yeah. Don't get ahead of yourself.

My gag reflex is OUT OF CONTROL. Brushing my teeth is like a dangerous game of chicken. You never know who will be the vanquisher- my gag reflex or my toothbrush. I go through a lot of toothbrushes. Also, if I do something really dangerous like sneeze too hard or smell garbage on the street...goodbye my last meal. Hello Eric holding my hair.

Any sort of extreme physical exertion such as walking the dog, singing in the shower or Swiffering the floor leaves me completely out of breath, heart racing. This gets me out of lots of household chores and Eric has to pick up the slack, SUCKA.

"Good grief. Well, at least it isn't as bad." You are so right about that.

I no longer have to nap daily, though I do have to go to bed early.
AND it's been like 3 days since I last puked. VICTORY IS MINE!

"What in tarnation was your body doing to you during that time?" Seriously? You used the word tarnation? We are gonna have to glaze over that.

Here is what it was doing:

What Goes In Must Come Out

Here's the deal. There were 2 special blastocysts (fertilized eggs) hanging around my uterus. One of them got stupid. I don't know if it was drunk or high but it split in two. Riiiiipppp.


Here's what we found when we got that first ultrasound (these pics are actually from the 8 week ultrasound):

See that. That's two up there and one down here. Altogether that makes 3. Three babies. Like, actual babies.

Monday, September 6, 2010

We're Having a Litter

I went to the doctor in August and found out, through a blood test, that we were preggo. We were, of course, very happy. The doc wanted me to come in for an ultra-sound on August 27. I get there and he starts pokin' around. He gets this worried look on his face and says, "Well, boy, uh, lets just zoom in right here on this gestational sac." I am thinking something is wrong with the baby, maybe it's not growing or they can already tell it's going to miscarry. He starts reading me the stats, showing me the heartbeat and giving me the measurements, all of which were right on-6 weeks, 2 days. Then he says, "Ok, let's move over here." As he moves the wand over I see another gestational sac. I'm thinking holy crap, it's twins. He says, "Now this is a different sac then we were just looking at, totally separate." Ok... We have 2 embryos in here.
Hold the phone.
"There are 3?" I ask.
He then goes on to measure each of the identicals and they are all measuring 6 weeks and like 1 or 2 days, don't remember. My first question is, "How likely is it that all these will actually grow into real babies?"
Doc gives me a serious look and says, "About 80%". He then discussed with me the plethora of complications that come with triplets and particularly with a set of identicals sharing a placenta, thoroughly scaring me and making me sure that all the babies were facing certain death.
For the next 2 days I simply freaked out and made zero sense whatsoever. Eventually, however, I came to my senses, got myself together and got happy about it. We go back for another ultrasound on September 10. We are mostly wondering if all three babies are still there, given the 20% chance of one or more of them being a vanishing twin, which just absorbs back into the uterine lining.