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.