30 August 2009

29 August 2009

The Rest of the Story...

If you haven’t already, please read Nikki’s account of the birth at her blog.

Below are some perspectives I have on the event.

The anesthesiologist was pumping all sorts of things into my wife always a few minutes too late and without ever saying a word about what he was doing. Not wanting to upset my wife any further, I quietly prodded him with quizzical glances and whispered questions until I was getting ready to jab him with one of his own needles until he started talking. The man was a mute octopus. Hands on syringes, computers, IV’s, drawers, little glass bottles, and not a sound to anyone even when the doctor pried him for an answer. All the while my wife was crying out in pain. Sadist.

Nikki didn’t want me to watch, but I couldn’t help myself after they had opened the uterus. I got just a little concerned when one of the doctors asked for a stepstool and used it to get positioned above Nikki high enough to do CPR-like belly-compressions while another doctor tugged on her insides. Of course I just smiled for Nikki.

We had wondered whether the twins would be fraternal or identical, so I wasn’t too surprised when as soon as the doctor pulled the second squirming infant from the uterus, Nikki asked me, “Are they identical?” Nodding and smiling like a good husband who has been pinning his wife’s arm down throughout the ordeal and does not want his hand crushed more than it already was, I responded, “If you mean are they both purple and slimy, then yes – they are identical.”

After stitching closed the uterus, the doctors started moving guts around and looking at everything to make sure it was all good (and I’m pretty sure they were also trying to make sure they hadn’t left a sponge, clamp, glove, or baby inside). During this time they pulled out a large pinkish blob with large almost translucent bubbles covering it. Now I am not a doctor, nor have I had any medical training beyond basic first aid and CPR, but thought I should have been able to roughly identify most internal organs. I had no idea what this was. I asked the doctor. “That’s an ovary,” she replied.

“Huh,” I said, “I always thought they were smaller.”

“They usually are. Normally they are about the size of walnuts. This is one of… well, this is the largest one I have ever seen.”

At this point she produced the second one which looked just as bulbous. Um, okay. So… whattheheck?! I thought. You are handling an alien blob about the size of a small cantaloupe with pinkish boils all over it and telling me it belongs inside my wife but should be about the size of a walnut. Whattheheck?! What I said: “So…”

“These seem overly excited by all the hormones.”

Uh doc, I understand it’s a reproductive organ, but it’s not THAT one. Care to explain further? “So, what now?” I questioned (I was full of intelligent comments on this topic).

“They will probably go back to their normal size eventually.” With that they cauterized one they had nicked and stuffed them back inside.

Oh that’s comforting. I’m definitely telling Nikki about this after they staple her shut… and she wakes up.

18 August 2009

When good hormones go bad

Whomever first said, “If looks could kill” got it all wrong (“If” and “could” being the excess words here). Clearly this misinformed individual never met a woman pregnant with multiples in her third term. People, I am here to inform you that looks can indeed kill. The results might not be immediate, and perhaps there will never be quite enough evidence to meet the “beyond a reasonable doubt” criteria of a court of law, but those of us who have experienced the event firsthand have seen the truth in all its naked awful glory.

Over the last few weeks, I have been doing laps between the hospital and home with my wife yelling “clean” obscenities and venomous threats at slow-moving traffic. Today there was particular car, a sad blue one, in front of us traveling about five miles-per-hour under the speed limit. We could not pass, and I could feel the death rays begin to radiate from the passenger seat. The hair had to be standing up on the back of the occupants’ necks and I’m sure they had goose bumps all over their body. Their car was equipped with rear-viewing mirrors and they must have seen the look. How couldn’t they have? Why didn’t they speed up? Why didn’t they pull over or at the very least leap from their moving vehicle to avoid the deadly stare that was gaining vehemence every few feet? Some mysteries will never be solved. One thing, however, is certain, the two unfortunate occupants may now be suffering from a progesterone curse so horrific that I wouldn’t be surprised to find their names in a major newspaper soon.

The article would read something like this, “Two men die in freak of nature accident when their slow moving vehicle was run over by a herd of giant snails. Sadly, the ill-fated victims of this anomalous event did not have the good fortune to die quickly. They were slowly engulfed and asphyxiated in slimy secretions from literally thousands of the wayward gastropods. According to eyewitnesses, the men’s final words before being completely enveloped in the fetid ooze were, ‘The eyes! The eyes…ahhhhhh!’ Government officials were quick to assure the public there is no danger of such an event recurring and that the streets were once again clean and safe for travel.”

16 August 2009

When you dial right, but it's oh so wrong

Today I attempted to put together our crib in anticipation of the twins arriving any day now. However, I ran into a bit of a problem. We recently moved and work paid a company to pack and ship most of our belongings. The individuals assigned to pack our home were completely consumed with getting the most stuff in as little space as possible as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, this meant they gave little thought to how much difficulty their errant work would cause us unpacking on the other end. One such oversight/inconvenience involved disassembling furniture and letting the nuts, bolts, etc. ride freestyle and decide for themselves whether to show up on the other end or not. Not being the loyalist of furniture, in the case of the crib this meant I had only seven out of the twelve long bolts required for safe assembly.

Okay, options – I could try to find a local vendor for the obviously custom-made bolts or something compatible (a far shot at best) or I could try to contact the manufacturer and order a replacement set. Fortunately, we had been able to locate the instructions, and I perused them for a website or contact phone number. There was a mailing address in Quebec, but no website, and a 1-800 number listed next to the statement, “In the unlikely event your unit is damaged or you require parts or assembly help, telephone our Customer Assurance Toll Free 1-800-XXX-XXXX.” I was pretty sure the “unlikely event” they referred to was during the original opening of the box, however it was worth a shot to see if I could pay for a few extra bolts. So I called. And the voice answered.

The voice was a recording made by a female who breathed heavily into the receiver before beginning to speak. Either she had just finished sprinting from some far-off place to the answering machine because she was just so gosh-darn excited to tell callers to leave a message after the beep, or I had reached a recording one might expect to find on the other end of a 1-900 number rather than the seemingly innocent 1-800 number I had called to request assistance assembling a piece of infant furniture. As she breathed her next few words, the answer became unmistakably clear. I flushed a deep shade of red and hurriedly mashed the “off” button to terminate the call. My wife and mother happened to be in the room at the time and they both turned their now interested gazes on me as if to inquire why I had so abruptly hung up. I uncomfortably explained that the customer service the nice lady on the other end of the phone had to offer was not likely to get us crib bolts anytime soon.

This awkward moment brought to you by: Thoughtless Packers Inc., Outa Business Crib Co., Phone Number Recyclers R-US and Asian Girls Anonymous.

10 August 2009

Fair Weather Fiends

Twice in the last seven or eight days there have been protesters outside the base’s main gate. Having paid their $50 for a ride on the Green Tortoise bus from San Francisco, they stood and displayed large banners stating, “End nuclear weapons testing,” and, “PEACE.” I do not harbor any bad feelings toward those who would express their opinions openly – after all, freedom of speech is one of the cherished privileges I serve to protect. However, I do take exception at the fact that they are either ill informed or fair weather protesters. Either of which is entirely unacceptable. If you believe strongly enough in something to organize an entire movement against it then you should make darn sure you get your facts straight.

The United States has not tested (detonated) a nuclear weapon since 1993. On the other hand, North Korea claimed to have tested nuclear bomb as recently as May 2009. So if you would really like to protest nuclear weapons testing, you could secure passage to their happy corner of the Earth and bombard Kim Jong II with signs that have snappy sayings like, “Give up Nukes… you Pukes,” or “Stop trying to destroy the world… think of the kittens!.” Yep, that would probably do the trick.

Finally, Vandenberg Air Force Base does not have a nuclear mission. I repeat, there are no nuclear weapons at VAFB. If you would like to protest land-based nuclear weapons, please get out your gas card and cold weather gear and ride the Green Tortoise out to Great Falls, Montana, Cheyenne Wyoming, or better yet, Minot North Dakota. For the full experience, you should go in January or February when you can stand outside the gate in the negative 50 degree Fahrenheit weather waving “PEACE” signs at the Airmen traveling out to the missile complex for another 1-3 day tour at a remote Missile Alert Facility. Their constant readiness serves as a deterrent to those who might use weapons of mass destruction against the U.S., our friends or allies.

Any protesters reading this might also be interested to learn that since 1958 “Peace is our Profession” has been the official motto of the nuclear deterrent force. On the other hand, perhaps you already know that and the “PEACE” sign is actually in support of our mission and serves as a thank you, not a protest. Well, in that case. Thanks – it’s good to be appreciated.

02 August 2009

Because I needed to post something

How long can you stare at it without your eyes wigging out?


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