Wednesday, December 1, 2010

An Interesting Turn of Events: An Intro to PantsJuice

The Setting: Imprinting a permanent impression of my derriere into the leather of the love-seat.

The Soundtrack: Colin Firth and Rupert Everett in The Importance of Being Earnest.

On the Stovetop: Generic brand mac 'n' cheese from a box. Marginally edible.

The Scenario: A required day of rest. Doctor's orders.

Shortly after Hoosband's parents returned home from their visit, we received some interesting news, which made the casual drinking and reckless consumption of undercooked meat, unpasteurized cheese, ceviche, sushi, and raw oysters of the previous week seem like a much worse idea in retrospect.

It took all three plus signs from the CVS-brand multi-pack for Hoosband to be fully convinced of the legitimacy of the situation, but by the time the last symbol surfaced in its little viewing window, we were imagining looking at something much cuter through a viewing window of a different sort in approximately nine months.

The first few weeks were a lot of eating extremely healthfully, wondering when to tell people, and wondering how to tell people, considering our closest friends and family were all several hundred miles north.

We contemplated waiting until the second trimester when the chance of miscarriage would be greatly reduced, or waiting until Christmas, when we might be able to include a snapshot of our little in-utero gummy bear along with our holiday tidings, but my dad would be visiting in a couple weeks, and the chances of making it through an entire dinner without my dad uncovering our secret were definitely in the "do not make this bet" category.

We told the rest of our immediate family over the phone right before dinner with my dad and waited to tell him in person. He guessed right away, allegedly because I looked so radiant.

I wish I could say I felt radiant.

The following week was full of cramping, which ended in favor of nausea, which took on the roommate of heartburn, which brings us up to recent events.

Let's just say work has been less than enjoyable. Thinking about food has my gag reflex on high-alert, so working with it has been a challenge. My pants are too tight, my back has been hurting, I feel like death if I don't (and even if I do) eat a few saltines every 30 minutes, and I fear that every little thing I usually do--cutting 80-lb wheels of parm, lifting heavy boxes--might be bad for PantsJuice, which, incidentally, is what we have been calling the potential child (we were calling it The Situation at first, but that had an overwhelming reality-TV connotation we weren't crazy about, so PantsJuice it is).

Saturday at work was the worst.

I was certain I was going to become a human fountain of the saltines I'd been force-feeding myself, but that was not what the bathroom had in store for me. Instead I discovered blood.

I ran to the office and became a human fountain of tears.

I was released from work and told to get a doctor's note before I came back.

But it was Saturday night. I couldn't find an obstetrician, and my luck would not improve on Sunday. One of the answering machines I encountered informed me that offices would be open to take appointments at 7:30 Monday morning.

At 7:30 Monday Morning I was informed the obstetrics department would not be in until 8, so I should call back then. At 8 I was told 8:30, and at 8:30 I was told 9. I cried.

Sometime after 9, I finally reached an obstetrician's office and was able to make an appointment for a week from Tuesday.

"I have experienced some bleeding," I said. "Is there any way I can get in sooner?"

A week from Tuesday would be the absolute soonest, I was told, but If I'd been bleeding, I'd need to go to the hospital before I came in.

So I called the hospital.

"I assume you have a prescription for an ultrasound from your doctor?" the voice at the hospital inquired.

"No...I've never been to this doctor, and the doctor won't see me until I come to the hospital...I've been bleeding."

"Oh," said the voice, "well, they must want you to go to the ER then."

"Um..." I ventured, "is the ER gonna take me? I mean, I don't know if I qualify as an emergency...."

"They'll take you. If you're pregnant and you're bleeding, it's considered an emergency."

Hoosband left work early to take me to the ER. We checked in at 2:52 and didn't head home until 7:45.

Hoosband smuggled in some saltines from the car, and I ate them stealthily in the bathroom to stave off starvation-induced nausea, as food and drink were prohibited in the waiting room.

It was a long, uncomfortable afternoon, but I was in possession of the world's greatest shoulder to lean on, and the wait was worth it.

Six weeks, two days, and I got to see its heartbeat. I have two small hemorrhages, and I have to miss a few days of work to make sure I get enough rest, but the doctor said PantsJuice looks perfect.

This morning I painted the bathroom with Pop-Tarts and bile, but I was happy knowing that PantsJuice lives. I can only imagine what grab-bag of nightmares awaits me, but I have faith that it will be a worthy endeavor.

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