Monday, December 07, 2009

12 Weeks, 3 Days

Upon returning from my fourth bathroom trip in less than an hour, I looked over to see my boss staring at me through her open doorway. She motioned me over, cocked her head to one side, and looked me up and down.

"Are you pregnant?" she asked in a mildly exasperated tone.

There was a pause as I pondered whether honesty was indeed the best policy.

"I am." I said.

"How long have you known?"

"About 12 hours."

***

Although the faint plus sign the previous evening was definitive proof, I'd had my suspicions for a little more than 12 hours. Strange things had been afoot for several days. New sensations, food aversions, the inability to spell three letter words correctly. And when a certified, bonafide, ratified night owl can't keep her eyes open past 8:30 in the eve, she figures something must be up. (Not her, though. 'Cause she's asleep.)

***

When I was about 8 weeks along, I had a little cramping which caused me some concern. (Alliteration is awesome.) So I called my OB's office, and a nurse called me back. We had a 10 minute conversation, during which I was unable to determine if the person I was speaking to was, in fact, male or female. Here what he/she said once I (calmly) explained my symptoms:

"Well, it sounds like you have an ectopic pregnancy, which could result in death if you don't go to the hospital."

"So you're saying mild cramps are the sign of an ectopic pregnancy?"

"Well, yes. And it could result in death if you don't go to the hospital. Do you understand?"

"I do. Could you possibly fit me in for an ultrasound today so I don't have to go to the hospital?"

"We don't have any room in our schedule today. So you'll need to go to the emergency room."

"I just want to make sure I'm clear on this. You're telling me I need to go to the emergency room for mild cramps?"

At this point there was a lot of sighing and putting me on hold and more sighing, which ultimately resulted in her very reluctantly agreeing to fit me in despite their "extremely busy" schedule.

***

When I showed up at the clinic an hour later, there was one person in the waiting room.

I signed in and sat down, leafing through a well-worn (and slightly sticky) parenting magazine until I heard my name being called.

"Emmelyn?"

A weary-looking nurse was standing in front of me, brandishing a vaginal ultrasound wand in her hand. In the waiting room. Perhaps she just wanted me to have an extra minute to process the upcoming procedure?

Approximately 15 minutes later, I'd seen my baby's tiny little heartbeat, cried tears of relief and awe, and was walking out through the (empty) waiting room with the precious pictures tucked safely in my purse.

***

"Steve!" I exclaimed, bursting through our apartment door. "Come and look at our baby!"

He pondered over the photos.

"Isn't it amazing?" I was still a little teary.

"Yeah. Wow."

And then,

"It kind of looks like a hamster."

***

Last night I had 1/2 a can of jumbo olives for dinner. Because that's what the hamster wanted.



Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Tragedy in Three Acts


ACT I:
In Which Emmie Should Have Paid More Attention At The Store

Setting: An apartment kitchen. Cluttered. Possible post-expiration date yogurt in the fridge.

Emmie, a 30-something saucy redhead, has mixed together a delicious marinade for chicken. She places the raw chicken into a ziplock bag, and carefully pours the marinade in after it.

Suddenly, chicken-contaminated marinade begins to run all over her cluttery kitchen counter. She yelps.

Emmie: Yelp!

And grabs for another bag, her hands covered in chickeny lemon mustard goop. The new bag does nothing to help. She calls for her husband.

Emmie: Stu! There are holes in both of these ziplock bags!!

The handsome and fluffy-haired Stu comes bounding in, his ever trusty Dr. Pepper in hand. He quickly helps Emmie clean up the mess. As they try to figure out something new to eat for dinner, Emmie posits:

Emmie: What are the odds of two ziplocks both having holes? (She scrutinizes the ziplock box.) Wait a minute. What the . . . ? Ziplock Double Zipper with Moisture Vents? What are moisture vents?

She pulls out another bag. Then another. Each bag is dotted with tiny holes. She shows the box to Stu.

Stu: Why would anyone think it was a good idea to market bags with holes in them?

Emmie: I don't know. I just don't know.

ACT II:
In Which Emmie Shouldn't Have Hit Snooze That Second Time

Emmie stands in her bathroom, curling her saucy red hair in haste. She woke up late (well, technically she woke up on time, but then went back to sleep). Suddenly, the red hot curling iron slips from her grasp and lands on her lily white neck before hitting the ground with a crash. Emmie yelps.

Emmie: Yelp!

And looks in the mirror to see a ridiculously large red welt appear in a spot too high up for a turtleneck to disguise.

Emmie: Drat.

ACT III:
In Which Emmie Really Should Have Known Better

Late for work, our heroine quickly grabs some ice from the freezer and throws it into a ziplock bag before racing out the door and hopping into her car. Speeding down the freeway, she holds the frozen bag to the welt on her neck. Suddenly, she senses a river of ice water pooling at her collar and running down her sweater. Emmie yelps.

Emmie: Yelp!

And looks at the plastic bag in her hand. The bag with moisture vents.

-Epilogue-

Emmie sits at her desk. She attempts to holds a new ice pack to her neck in as discreet a manner as possible, while also trying to dry her sweater with a paper towel.

Emmie's Co-Worker: What happened to you this morning??

Emmie: A curling iron. And moisture vents.

-The Curtain Falls-