Tuesday, December 20, 2005

All I Want For Christmas Is An Egg Nog Latte

Whatever happened to common courtesy?? Looking out for your fellow man? Is chivalry really dead???

Yesterday, I leave the house early for work because I wanted to go to the post office to mail a package on the fun new automated postage machine. You know what I'm talking about, right? It has the little scale and it automatically prints out your postage and charges your credit card in less than a minute, seemingly to prevent standing in the ultra-long lines during the holiday season. I thought I was leaving early enough to drop off my package, then go down the street to Starbucks for my coveted egg nog latte (decaf of course), then travel across the street to work. There are a couple of people in line in front of me at the post office and I'm thinking, this can't take too long, can it? What I failed to notice was that the man in front of me had eight packages. Yes. Eight. There are four things that were abundantly obvious about me, so see if you can visualize:

1. I have one package.
2. I am pregnant. I can no longer hide it. There is a bump.
3. Compared to the eight man, I'm dressed for work. I hate to sound catty, but he looked pretty homeless.
4. There is no one behind me waiting, and there will not be the entire time I'm there.

Twenty minutes people. I'm there for 20 minutes. Twice I asked the eight man if it were possible for me to step in for less than a minute and get my package sent, using the excuse that I did have to get to work. He looked at me as if I were speaking in Swahili. Oh, that's right. I was speaking Swahili and he forgot to stick his babel fish in his ear.

I got to work late.
Without my coveted egg nog latte.

I forgot to mention that yesterday was the only day this week I chose to go to work; I'm off the rest of this week for Christmas and to start painting Anja's nursery. So, at this point in my morning yesterday, I had found no good reason to have gotten out of bed at all.

All day I keep thinking I can skip out for a few minutes to run across the street to the Starbucks to get my coveted egg nog latte. And it never happens. It's so busy at work I can barely see straight. So I think, I'll leave a little bit early to get my coveted egg nog latte on my way to my standing 4:30 appointment. A caseworker coming to my hospital looking for me threatens this because he won't stop talking (and can't seem to determine that I haven't started listening), but I manage to walk out at 3:55. I'm relieved that the drive through line at the Starbucks isn't too long. So I tell Luis at the drive through to start working on my coveted egg nog latte and I sit back in my car and wait. And wait. And wait some more.


Just past the window at the drive through is a trash can. And there is this woman in her humongus SUV, having just picked up her four drinks, parked at the trash can. The four woman is shoveling gallons of garbage out of her SUV into the trash can. Seriously. She is cleaning her car into the Starbucks drive through trash can. What she hasn't and doesn't figure out is that her SUV is so long that the man in the car behind her (and in front of me) cannot get to the drive through window. So we all sit and wait for four woman to clean her car.

Fifteen minutes. Fifteen minutes that I am in the drive through. But at least I have the coveted egg nog latte. And it's warm. And Anja danced when I started drinking it.

But that's not all.

I offer to go to the nearest Chinese take-out place to pick up some dinner. I call in the order, find out it will take 30 minutes, so I decide to use the extra few minutes to run into the neighborhood Ross Dress For Less down the street to pick up a few last minute Christmas items and some maternity jeans. I takes me maybe ten minutes to collect my purchases and get in line. I know it's the holidays and the retail world is crazy, but is it possible for Ross to have more than two cashiers?


Twenty minutes. Twenty minutes of my life in line at Ross and I have moved maybe 6 inches in line. By the time I abandoned my mission (ten minutes after I was supposed to pick up my food), the three people in line behind me all knew how far along I was, that I was having a girl, and that her name is Anja. The girl behind me told me that she is seventeen years old and that her mother is 6 months pregnant and how strange it will be to have a sister born at her age. They were all very nice and certainly had gallons more patience than me.

When I got home I found the one thing which made the whole day worth living. The sperm donor stood at my door way with a big smile on his face. He later went out and got me pie and heavy whipping cream (for pie a la Vicki, of course). And today, I have countless reasons to get up out of bed. One of them went to work today, but tomorrow we're going crib shopping. Three of them are covered with fur and are in bed with me right now. And one of them - the beloved jewel - has been squirming around in my belly all morning.

Do I have a point here? Make your own. I'm going to go get another latte.

Monday, December 05, 2005

It's A....

I know, I know. My mother says my blog is boring. The trailer park goddess said my blog was slowly resembling that of the sperm donor's. Lunatic girlfriend said she checks my blog every morning when she has her coffee, and what a disappointment it is to find nothing.

I'm not blog-resistant. I think I've been blog-avoidant. So I wrote a couple of posts ago about how I was going for this Ultrascreen test to rule out Down's Syndrome and a couple of other chromosomal disasters. And I think beforehand, "What are the odds that something will come back positive? That's not going to happen to me." And it's not that the test came back "positive"; it's not that black and white. If the normal incidence of Down's Syndrome for my age is one out of every 200 births, my risk is one out of every 191 births. That's the risk of any 37-year-old woman. All I wanted was a healthy child, so the thought that something might have been wrong, even the slightest little chance, was terrifying. And all of the reassurance in the world didn't matter; I was convinced my baby was going to be that 0.52356%.

So, off we went for the amnio. The fun part about the amnio (if one can call any of it "fun") is the lengthy sonogram the precedes it. We got to see a brain, a heart, some kidneys, a stomach, some arms, some legs, and all kinds of other baby anatomy, all of which is on videotape too. The baby even waved at us, and made some funky Spock gesture with it's hand. I didn't see any of the amnio. Thank goodness because the sperm donor said the needle which went inside my stomach was quite large. It didn't really hurt, thanks in part to the little numbing injection which came first. It really more felt someone was pressing down really hard on my stomach. And then it was done.

Didn't Tom Petty sing "they say waiting is the hardest part?" We knew the results would come back in the next couple of weeks, which bordered dangerously close to Thanksgiving. There were several clues that everything would be OK. First, on the sonogram our baby appeared to be about one week ahead of schedule; babies with Down Syndrome tend to be small. Second, my regular OB explained that there is a preliminary test that is conducted on the amniotic fluid which essentially says everything is good or something is wrong; it just doesn't specify exactly what is wrong. She explained that the results of this test are usually available within a week and she is notified right away if something isn't right. I saw her about one week after the amnio and she hadn't received the "something is wrong" call. But all of the reassurance in the world can feel like no reassurance at all. It doesn't change the fact that we still have to wait for a little printout with little pictures of genes to know whether or not things are OK.

Two days before Thanksgiving we got the call. The voice mail from the doctor's office said to call back as soon as possible because she had really good news. I don't think I realized how scared I was until I became aware of how relieved and thankful I was. They also confirmed what we suspected all along.

It's a girl.

We like Anja. Maybe Cecilia for a middle name - that's the sperm donor's grandmother.