Monday, July 12, 2010

Lighten Up

Some time after my last post, I started a post called "Rainbows and Puppies" but couldn't think of a thing to say on those topics.

It occurred to me this, let me restate that. I had an epiphany this weekend. I was talking to a mother of another child at my daughter's school. We were at a birthday party for a third child in the same class. Completely unprovoked, I was spouting off on the following:

  • how commercialism is undermining the relationships between parents and children! 
  • how D and I do not buy our children stuff (nay, GARBAGE!) that is branded with characters (with rare exceptions for PBS characters, which we're begrudgingly willing to support)! 
  • how I am doing my best to vanquish or at least resist the dreaded princess phase! 
  • how more enlightened countries have banned advertising to children
  • how screen time must be limited! 
All of this, mind you, was in response to a simple question about the doll my daughter was carrying around (not hers, I don't much care for dolls).  This defenseless woman, subjected to my ravings, merely asked something about some pink alien-looking doll being loved with abandon by my child (who surely knew the end was nigh). I actually don't remember or perhaps I never heard what this perfectly pleasant woman said because I was deafened by the sound of my own righteous indignation ringing in my ears as I clambered up to my soapbox to deliver my soliloquy.

Ever watch Lost? You know those highly unstable sticks of dynamite that were on that ship that was marooned in the middle of the island or whatever (As an aside to this aside -- don't expect accuracy of recall or even the dimmest understanding of  Lost from me. I watched every damn episode of that forsaken show and I'm still clueless)? Conversations with me can be like that. Woe to the person who jostles me even slightly.

On the drive home after the party, I had a few minutes to reflect, not only on this conversation, which I've admittedly exaggerated for effect (hopefully of the comic variety), but also on my disposition more generally. I am playing the defensive disposition, in case it wasn't completely apparent.

I've come to the consideration (not conclusion, necessarily) that maybe I need to lighten up. My son's not getting a DS any time soon, mind you, but maybe I should work harder to keep my opinions to myself. Mustn't...scare off...other... humans...

As an act of good faith, here's a photo of a normal, happy, fun time that we had watching fireworks on the 4th. I am capable of normal happy fun time with other members of the species. Occasionally.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

...but you can call me Cerberus

I moderate a message forum for people who've experienced loss in a mono.chorionic mono.amniotic pregnancy. But we also get people on our site who were misdiagnosed and later found to be carrying mono.chorionic di.amniotic twins.  The biggest risk in a Mo.Mo pregnancy is cord accident. The biggest risk in a Di.Mo  (or Mo.Di) pregnancy is TT.TS -- twin-to-twin trans.fusion syndrome. It is a disease of the placenta wherein blood and nutrients are unevenly distributed between the twins. It can come on suddenly and severely and it can kill one or both twins. 

TT.TS can be caught with vigilant monitoring. Laser surgery can slow its effects, enabling the pregnancy to go to full term or very near. One of the leading experts on TT.TS, Dr. Julian DeLia, advocates drinking 3 cans of a protein drink like Ensure per day and his research suggests that TT.TS may be linked to hypoproteinemia and anemia, particularly in mid-pregnancy. And there are outward signs that the mother can be attuned to, if she knows what to look for.

Recently, I did my daily Loss Forum check in on the Mo.Mo site and found a post by a woman who lost a twin to TT.TS. Her other twin is in the NICU with suspected significant brain damage. In her post she indicated that she had not been to the site much because she didn't want to be scared by sad stories. I understand the need to shut out negative possibilities and just survive. I didn't want to think about the scary stuff when I was pregnant either. I knew I was carrying a ticking time bomb of a pregnancy. The closer I got to the time of delivery the more I felt my grip on the cliff side of sanity loosening. Between that abject fear and the religious tone of the boards, I didn't feel as though I had a place there.  But there's something doubly tragic in the idea that maybe had she stuck around and known what to look for, she might have recognized the signs. She might have taken the advice to consume more protein. It wasn't hard to find. It might have helped.

And too, I realize that I am one of those scary stories and it's odd to think of oneself that way.

Really? Me? My life is the tragedy you're trying to avoid? 
Well, maybe not your whole life, just this one particularly unenviable situation. 

I just found it unnerving to have someone spell it out like that, in the Loss Forum (MY TURF!!). With no hint of irony! Can you believe that?

In our corner of the site, down toward the bottom of the list, there is a family of us. I got all my sisters and me. A sad, sad welcome to you, newcomer.

It seems that despite avoiding the site until well after Eva was gone, I now have a place there. I guard the gates of hell. I welcome each new entrant with a deflated, toothless smile. There's a look of pity in my eyes that I can't help. Because I know.
     I know she didn't really believe it would happen to her.
     I know what she's in for -- at least its general outline.
     I know it is agony.

And she
is about
to find out.