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.