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Super (Best) Friends

Quaternary Care

I had to deal with four doctor's appointments in the past two days: there was my annual OB/Gyn (hey did you know that this is pronounced Obee Gine-rhymes-with-wine-and-Caroline? I have always said O-B-G-Y-N, five separate letters - my doctor said this indicates an ana... a meticulous personality) visit; Patrick had a six year well kid check, Caroline and Edward went in for their six month appointment and then for a surprise second encore I took a cat to the vet. So in case you are wondering, yes I have read this month's issue of everything.

1. I finally got a chance to ask my OB about the pathology report on Caroline's placenta. As you may recall she was 4lbs 2 ounces at birth which is just not normal for a 36 weeks (and six days. and 21 hours) fetus. As you may also recall I was injecting blood thinners on a daily basis for nine months because my OB was convinced that even a single gene MTHFR mutation can lead to clotting issues. So I suppose she can be excused for being ghoulishly pleased by the pathology report that showed a compromised placenta (infractions? villi something? and something something else?) that was a little less than half the size of Edward's. She opined that without the heparin Caroline would not have survived to be born.

I never really believed some of the stuff I did with the pregnancy. Every night I spent hooked up to monitors in the hospital I was like, "Really? Isn't this a little dramatic?" I injected the blood thinners because I was afraid not to do it, but it felt more superstitious than medical. The terbutaline pump certainly helped keep the contractions down but I was never certain that the contractions were doing anything anyway; until I went off the terbutaline and delivered within fourteen hours. It was a bit sobering to reflect back on the things I thought were optional overkill and realize that they probably saved Caroline and Edward's lives.

I thanked my OB but in retrospect I should have offered to detail her car. With my hair.

2. I switched Patrick from his old pediatrician (who was fine) to the pediatrician Caroline and Edward lucked into (same practice) and with whom I am madly in love. What is it with women and their doctors? I cannot count the number of females I know who have one-sided attachments to their physicians and yet I have never once met a man who gushed "Oh I just adore my cardiologist."

Patrick is tall'ish, lean'ish and he has a spider angioma where his lip meets his face.  This is a benign lesion that looks like a small cut from a distance and like a possible little tumor if you are his freak of a mother and study it very very closely for over a year. When asked how he liked the new babies he replied, casually, "Pretty ok, I guess." When asked how the babies are doing he became animated and said, "Caroline is a MENACE!" Then he laughed merrily and told stories about all of the things she gets into that make me blench.

This is an aside:

I have a plastic bin under the couch that contains diapers, baby nail clippers, diaper cream etc. I also have a tub of wipes stashed under there. The first time this happened I thought it was a fluke but by her fifth time I realized that she was doing this intentionally - Caroline likes to roll under the couch, knock the wipes tub over, click open the lid and pull all the wipes out; possibly chewing on one for good measure.

One of the problems with having a six year old is he is privy to all the family secrets and he has absolutely zero discretion. Let me assure you that I had not planned on telling our pediatrician that I have carelessly let Caroline get into the baby wipes on more than one occasion.

3. After Patrick yammered yesterday I took the babies in for their appointment today. The doctor said, "What was it Patrick called Caroline? A menace? I have never heard a six month old baby described like... ."

Then he said "Oh my!" as he realized what we were talking about. I wrote about that appointment (hmmm, at considerable length I see) here at REDBOOK. Oh, before I forget, as he checked her eyes I asked him - in his professional, medical opinion - to tell me what color they are. The question was subject to considerable debate while my family was here and I wanted an objective, expert opinion to confirm that I am right and that everyone else is wrong wrong wrong. Green, he said. Possibly gray-green. Not brown? I clarified. Oh heavens no, said the good doctor. So. There. Certified green.

4. Darwin and Rusty were very close. They slept together. Rusty always groomed Darwin (although we never saw him return the favor - there is always a Giver and a Taker, isn't there?) When Rusty died I was worried about how Darwin would handle the loss. Cats are very sensitive; so I tried to make sure he was given lots of extra attention and I think he was ok for about a month. Then about a week ago he peed on the couch. Twice. And the rug. Last night (morning?) at 5 am I was on my way back to bed when I heard that tell-tale sound of covering (paw scratching rug) that makes every devoted cat owner turn cold and pale. I went in search of the sound and found him in the playroom, having just peed in poor Patrick's Lego bin.

Oh.... cats.

Repeatedly urinating in the same wrong place is probably behavioral. Defecating, almost certainly ditto. But randomly peeing all over the place is usually the sign of a physical problem so I called the vet and they saw him this afternoon. Turns out he has a bladder infection, the poor thing, but I have never been happier to hear about a disease in my life. You can treat an infection, it's much harder to treat grief - particularly when it expresses itself in urine.

PS I should have said yesterday that the early bedtime is only relevant if you have problems with the way things are going. If your baby happily goes to bed at midnight and you happily wake up at noon, rock on.

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