Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Brown Bear, This is Your Wake-up Call . . .

In the midst of my hibernation during the first trimester of my pregnancy with my son, my husband declared that he had renamed me "Brown Bear." It was so fitting that I considered changing my name legally, again, but I thought I might face unwarranted discrimination should I apply for a job.

Like a true brown bear, I ate and slept. Mainly slept. I nodded off an hour after I arrived at work and five minutes after I got home at 6 pm. For the night. I slept for 14 hours regularly and was only upright to wander to the bathroom 5 times.

When Brown Bear came out of hibernation, it was with renewed energy, enough stamina to pack up an apartment and move out of the city, even drive a Home Depot truck during the move. It was bye bye, Brown Bear.

But, Brown Bear came roaring back this past February. And, a brown bear who has to chase her wild cub all day long really knows how to hibernate. She can drive a car while snoring, bath a baby half-asleep, doze off on the treadmill. She can sleep for 3 months straight.

"Excuse me, Brown Bear, I need your insurance card . . . " the receptionist said yesterday.

Fine, maybe she said, "Stacy," but when she jolted me awake in my ob/gyn's waiting room, I heard "Brown Bear."

"I think you already have it . . . "

"That's right, I need a urine sample. I knew it was one or the other," she said, handing me a plastic cup.

"Random question," I started, "I heard a rumor that Dr. M. may be leaving this hospital."

"Oh honey, people have been screaming at me on the phone for days. It's true."

"Well, where is she going?" I asked, a bit stunned. This lady had just confused my insurance card for a cup of urine. I thought maybe she was just confused again.

"Nobody knows," she whispered.

"Well, I'll just ask her when I see her," I said.

"No, honey, she's gone already."

"Wait, WHAT? I'm here to see her today."

"No, she's already left the hospital - and she's leaving the practice completely. You'll see Dr. C. today" the receptionist continued.

Just then a nurse called my name. I'm no medical professional, but maybe she should have taken my blood pressure BEFORE they told me my doc was AWOL!

If Brown Bear needed something to seriously wake her up, this was it.

By way of background, I had switched to this doc less than a year ago, needing a fresh start with someone new. I had envisioned this doc, Dr. M, being my best cheerleader in the delivery room, receiving holiday cards with my baby's face on them, perhaps coming to Rosh Hashanah dinner sometime.

Now she was gone. Without a trace.

I started thinking about how I could track her down. I remembered how Bill Murray played a psychiatric patient who stalked his therapist, played by Richard Dreyfuss, in the movie, ""What About Bob?" "Dr. LEOOOOOO MARVIN!!!!" He followed him on vacation, to his home, everywhere.

Maybe if I can find Dr. M., I can put a GPS bracelet around her ankle or Lo Jack on her car and keep it in place for the next 6 months. Maybe I can move in her spare bedroom or go on vacation with her family.

If you can't tell by reading this, truthfully, I am over the flood of emotion that nearly drowned me when I heard the news of my doc's departure yesterday. Today, I am on a mission simply to find her, tell her how much she means to me, bribe her if need be. I understand that things happen in life and even when you're with an ob/gyn for years that doesn't necessarily mean she'll be in the delivery room when the time comes, but I at least need Dr. M. on speed dial.

Know what I mean?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Picture Worth a Thousand Words

"What's in mommy's belly?" I ask my 2 year old son.
"A BAY-BEE!" he shouts, arms in the air, smile across his face.

"But, Auntie, how do you KNOW?" my 6 year old nephew grilled me the other day, as only the son of a good lawyer could.

I tried to explain to him in general terms, "Cause the doctor said so," without mention of the white stick with two pink lines, the waves of nausea, minor aneurysm-like headaches, exhaustion, and all the rest.

He wasn't quite satisfied with my response. But, today, I have proof.

It's a picture worth a thousand words.
Of a healthy baby.
A younger sibling.
A boy or a girl.
The next child in line to a family full of love.
A playmate to cousins.
A grandchild to the proudest grandparents.
A great-grandchild.
A spark
of hope
in the midst of a season
that has at times seemed hopeless
for our extended family.

When we saw our baby
in the picture
on the monitor
in the hushed
dim room
we saw
one thing:


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Return of Wonder Woman

I'm having a Halloween party and you're all invited.

I have loved Halloween ever since I was a little girl.

I love the costumes, the glitter, makeup, masks, and of course, the candy.
I love the spooky decorations, the parties.
I love it all.

The best Halloween costume I ever had was a Wonder Woman costume that I bought when I was a senior at Michigan. My friend, Tracey, and I drove 30 minutes outside of Ann Arbor to a Halloween Superstore for the perfect costume.

Mission accomplished.

I found a Wonder Woman costume, complete with a bodysuit, cape, bracelets, boot covers, and a tiara. It was actually a child's costume, fit for a 7 year old, and no, I'm not exaggerating. You can ask Tracey.

I chose it because I thought it was a more accurate representation of Wonder Woman than the adult version, despite the fact that I could not zip up the back. I hoped (incorrectly) that my red cape would cover the open zipper and shield my half exposed backside since the leotard (as you can imagine) became the equivalent of a g-string.

The first time I put that costume on, against my better judgment, I ran into the frigid Michigan night without so much as a coat or gloves. I ran 5 blocks to a raging house party. It was a magical night.

I loved my child-sized Wonder Woman costume so much, I tried it on for my sister that following spring when I came home from college.

"Go outside in it, I dare you," she said.

The next thing I knew, I was locked out, with my sister hysterical inside the front window. Instead of banging on the door and giving her what she wanted, I began galloping around our circular driveway, with my cape swirling behind me, waving to confused neighbors as they drove by.

This October, I think it's time for me to bust out my Wonder Woman costume once again.
I don't expect to be able to zip it up. I don't care.
I'm going to rock it anyway.
Then I'm going to race (or fly) to the hospital.
Possibly secure local news coverage -
and become the first woman in America to deliver her baby dressed as Wonder Woman.

Now that would be some Halloween party, right?