High Anxiety

Obstetrics freaks me out. Does it seem as scary to others who never had a miscarriage? I just went in for my 18-20 week structural ultrasound. When I was pregnant with Vivien, I was so confident, these visits never bothered me. Post-miscarriage, things are different and I have become a complete nervous Nellie.

Mark is out of town, so I decided to ask my mom if she would come with me. She would have been happy to do so, but she had to work. Thankfully, my sister was able to come along. I had to warn her that this doctor takes all the high-risk pregnancies, that means being in a waiting room for quite some time. I don’t mind though; with Vivien, I went to this doctor and everything went well. With my second, I went to a different doctor where I did not have to wait but I felt like I was being poked and prodded by amateurs. So I was more than happy to wait for Junior (what I call my baby boy I am carrying).

Waiting
While my sister and I were sitting in the waiting room, we could not help but notice the woman complaining on her cell phone. The woman was ranting to someone on the other end, “I don’t understand why I have to be here, I am not high risk, this is my sixth child.” My sister turned to me and said, “Maybe she’s not high risk but she is definitely crazy.” All I could think about was how in the world she was going to afford to send 6 kids to private school in LA, because it has been my experience public schools here blow. Sadly, after about two hours, my sister had to leave to pick up my niece.

Moment of Truth
Finally it was my turn to see “Dr. Sweet.” I lay down and all he does is stare at a bunch of pictures of inside my belly. I was trying to be brave but the ultra sound machine looks like an alien. I was doing a pretty good job until I thought, “in one second I could get the worst news or the best. In ONE second.” Then right as I am about to lose it on the deadpan doctor with no bedside manner, he finally speaks:

Doctor: “Okay”

Me: “Is he okay?”

Doctor: “Great”

Me: “Perfect”

I walked down the hall to the bathroom cubicle and cried. I cried for relief and I cried for how fragile we are.

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

If you have little kids you might not have tackled this, but my step children are largely step adults, so I have had to straddle being candid and being a role model.

Years ago, attending one of my hippie schools, I was riding in a car with my best friend from 7th grade, her mom, two of her mom’s friends, and one of their kids. AS THEY PASSED AROUND A JOINT. I remember my friend’s mom, with total seriousness, asking me, “Does your mom allow you to get high?” Like it was watching a cartoon before bed. “Sure,” I said, wanting to look cool, and I took the joint from my friend. I had no idea what I was doing. But even then, I had the sneaking suspicion that this behavior was inappropriate for parents.

That friendship was short lived.