This day has lasted 300 years.
Thursdays are my days off. When I first started taking Thursdays off, I envisioned long naps, walks with the dog, catching up with friends, running errands I never have time to do...but, really, they have just turned into one long appointment. This morning I got up early to go to an appointment with a potential pediatrician. Mind you, I made the appointment early so B could come along before work. But then, his work week exploded and he was already working before I even left for the appointment. Great. So not only do I have to go alone, but at a ridiculously early hour.
When I woke up this morning I was having flashbacks to the first trimester. Well, first trimester plus heartburn. I think the stressful, busy weeks I've been having coupled with the increasingly difficult sleep every night finally caught up with me. I had a stuffy, clogged head, a ringing in my ears, overall nausea, and, of course, the heartburn. So, after deciding whether to eat breakfast to curb the nausea or Tums to help the heartburn (I did both), I headed to the pediatrician.
Now, let me just say I haven't interviewed any others yet and this one is an out-of-network provider, so our insurance won't fully cover it, so I went into it not knowing what to think. First impression? The office is beautiful. I'm totally sold on that type of thing, I'll admit it. Great (separate) waiting rooms, beautiful enormous fish tank, open, airy, pretty...nice. Then the doctor walks out. She doesn't look like your typical doctor. Young, beautiful woman wearing a long flowing skirt (no white coats here) and a huge smile. Oh, and she walked out RIGHT on time and then apologized for "running late" as she was coming from the hospital. She gave me a tour of their clinic and pointed out neat things like the fact that they keep most prescriptions on hand so you don't have to go to the pharmacy, they have a cute kid-sized toilet for urine samples, they have an entire wall of stickers and organic-gluten-free-lollipops (so they DO give out lollipops!). They have separate well and sick exam rooms (not just waiting rooms) and they are inviting and pretty, not sterile and scary. And...a bunch of other stuff that I can't remember. Then we went into her office and she told me about herself and her specialties, etc. We talked vaccines, circumcision, probiotics, solid foods, etc. All of her answers were just like me...very middle of the road. She cited a bunch of research studies and APA guidelines, but also pointed out where they differ on their policies and why. For example, they only give one vaccine shot at a time to minimize effects on babies and also pain/trauma of getting 4 shots at once, but their vaccine schedule is still within APA guidelines. Also, they don't recommend starting with rice cereal, but rather pureed black beans or avocado, due to a bunch of reasons she was very emphatic about but I haven't gotten far enough along to even care about yet. Finally, their appointments are 45 minutes long, they pride themselves on "no wait" (NO wait) times, and they will meet you at the office for after hours or weekend appts, if needed. Oh, and since we are delivering out-of-hospital, she will come to our house for his first check-up the day after he's born. And there are only two doctors and two nurses, which I like. Soooo I am going to call their office manager who will walk me through the insurance stuff and give me estimates on co-pays, etc. If it all seems doable financially, we may end up going this route. It just felt right.
Next, I ran to the baby boutique to get baby gifts for my coworker (and may have got us a few things too...) and then ran home to get Monte for his vet appt. Ok, guys...here we go. I'm finally going to blog about the fact that his cancer's back. Now, B took him for his last appt and he was very blase about it. As in, "It's ok, we just need to restart the chemo regime and everything will be fine." Well, today, I went in, they took him back for his treatments, and then the vet (one I've never seen before) came out and sat next to me in the waiting room. Note those words - in the waiting room. And she starts telling me, "Well the cancer hasn't gone away. He's still not responding. So, we need to try one of our 'rescue efforts...'" Guys, I stopped listening. I started focusing on the tone of her voice, the expression in her eyes, and trying not to burst into tears in the waiting room. I kept hearing the words rescue efforts over and over. So somehow we agreed on a treatment plan - which is basically to just throw a bunch of different drugs at him to keep him alive as long as possible and then she said, in a sympathetic tone, "He's just such a handsome dog." Which sounded like something someone would say at a funeral - "Joe was just such a great guy." Then she left.
I got my shit together and tried to calm down a bit. But then, the vet tech comes out and asks me if I will come back to an exam room with her (maybe the vet told her I looked about to fall apart??). There, she starts going over informed consents and payment schedules, etc. I tried to ask a simple question about time frame. As in, how long will we keep this up for? But then, I just lost it. I don't cry in public. But there I was, a super-pregnant lady, crying. Crying a lot. She was very uncomfortable. So, long story short, we will just keep up the drugs as long as they keep on keeping him alive. No one knows how long that will be. And I just keep thinking, how can I go through my dog of ten years, my first dog, my first "baby," dying while my son is being born? How do you do this? How do I not allow one monumental event to overshadow and detract from the other? But that is where we are. As I write this, Monte is laying next to me on his bed, blissfully naive and happy. So, that, I suppose, is something to take comfort in.
Next I had to take Monte back home and then head off to my 34 week midwife appointment. B was working from home so I was able to cry in his arms for a bit (which didn't seem to help) and listen to him tell me that everything seems worse right now because I am just so exhausted and overworked (which did kind of help). When I got to the clinic, I sat in the waiting room wondering how I would make it through my appointment without crying. The midwife turned out to be one I've never met, but who played a huge role in my pregnancy. She is the one we called on that night in Mexico. I still remember her calm, serious voice saying, "I'm so sorry, but you need to get to a hospital right now. I think you may be having a miscarriage." She also followed up with us with multiple phone calls and helped us so much when we were alone. So, I was already feeling close to her.
The appointment followed in the same vein. We talked about Mexico, we talked about Monte (turns out she also has a 10-year-old dog with cancer), and we talked about how tired and sick I was feeling. It was just so nice to sit and talk and be heard and understood. She didn't do anything, but I felt so much better. Is this why people like coming to therapy? We know that most of the effectiveness of therapy is not necessarily our techniques, but just the connection with someone else who listens. I got that today. So then we felt Baby - I felt his shin bone! - and listened to his heartbeat, which just made me feel happy and sweet and satisfied. At the end I asked her for heartburn remedies and she looked at me with a chagrined expression and said, "Sorry....all I can say is Good Luck." Basically, she recommended Tums, calcium magnesium, drinking milk, sitting up straight after eating...nothing surprising and nothing that she felt was really that effective. Oh well. At least she knows how to listen.
Oh, and I appreciated her sense of humor. When she was feeling my belly, she noticed all of the little scratch marks from Bear using my belly as a launch pad. She asked about them and then said, "Oh, I was wondering if you were having some really kinky pregnant sex." Ha. Which then turned into a conversation about bland pregnant sex and the introduction of vibrators. Good midwife.
When I got home, B led me into the kitchen and showed me that he had had his assistant deliver Bay Cities for dinner. For those of you non-LA-readers, Bay Cities is the best Italian Deli around and it reminds me of walking into my grandma's house when I wander the aisles. Oh, and he also hugged me a lot and apologized for not being able to come with me to any of the appointments. But really, I think it was the food that made me cry. What a great guy.
So now I'm home. My plans for tonight were to try to catch up on my mountain of paperwork that I am behind on. But, after today, they may have been replaced by plans to spend some quality time with Netflix, eat some delicious lasagna and Italian bread, and take a bath. If only my plans could also incorporate an entire bottle of Sangiovese.
I hope all of you have had an easier day than I have. I would appreciate any thoughts on pediatricians, good pregnant sex, wine-replacements, or just some positive thoughts sent in the direction of a certain 120-lb German Shepherd.