I’m going to go a little backwards here, talking about my appointment today first, and then I’ll tell you about yesterday.
So, I went in to see Dr. Jason (as he’s known around the office so as to not be confused with his wife Candy). I have rarely ever met someone as passionate and animated about his work, and it’s easy to see how he’s managed to attract the forces of the universe to work with him in getting patients for this study.
I was hooked up to a standard fetal heart-rate monitor with the accompanying contraction monitor first, and we watched Daniel’s heart rate for a good half an hour. He moved around so much that I really had to track him actively and move the monitor constantly to get a solid read on him. He had some really good standard patterns, which was kind of to be expected since we were looking at him in the middle of the day.
After that, Dr. Jason started the ultrasound. Now, this is where it gets interesting: I have been told on countless occasions that you CANNOT read or look at the umbilical cord in an ultrasound. To every last one of those people: You’re full of it. With nothing but a NORMAL ultrasound machine using the doppler feature (showing the flow of blood through the cord), we were able to clearly see the cord insertion both at the placenta and the fetus (the blood flow looks like it wraps around the bladder).
There is not currently any great amount of torsion, which is a massive relief for the right-now, and both insertion points have good strong flow. There is a single wrap around his neck, but there does not appear to be any constriction. There is one bunching in the cord that is most likely a hockle (like when a phone cord twists enough to double back on itself), and we’ll have to keep an eye on that.
Dr. Jason gave me a metric butt-ton of information that I’m supposed to copy off and distribute freely to doctors, nurses, parents, mothers, and whoever else would like to view the work. There’s a DVD, a comic, and several many reports and articles that he and other people have published.
At the end of the meeting, another couple showed up, and Dr. Jason did the training on how to use the fetal monitor for both of us. It was really amazing how much he encouraged us to talk to one another, although Tina and her husband John lost their child only this past November, so it’s still a very raw and open wound for them. They’re 30 weeks and feeling very vulnerable and scared. My heart went out to the both of them, and I wish there was a way for us to stay in touch… but there is also still a part of me that wonders just how much comfort I can offer just yet.
Later on, we all went out to dinner at Copeland’s (an AWESOME Cajun restaurant) and shared lots of wonderful, humorous, and heart-breaking stories about everything from mitochondria in the development of life on earth to other obstetricians that have developed a healthy fear of Dr. Jason (he is not a man that is easy to ignore, ever) to personal tales of loss and hope. It was just so beautiful.
I mean, really, what else are you going to do when you’re in New Orleans and you only have a limited amount of time?
Kristen (VoodooPrincess on the SUAD community) came out from just outside of the city proper to Slidell to pick up me and Kira. We went to lunch at Deanie’s (another pretty darned awesome restaurant), and then we went into the French Quarter, which is just apparently what you do. She said that if we could only go to one voodoo shop at all, it would absolutely have to be Marie Leveau’s.
Boy, was she right! It was an awesome little shop with tons of really cool stuff, and I managed to find little souvenirs for just about everyone on my list. (I’m not going to tell you what I got because some of them might be watching.) We hung out with the shop girls and had a pretty awesome time, and I decided to give their in-house reader a go.
And she was very, very good. She picked up on a lot of things right off the bat, which isn’t hard in and of itself, but she kinda did what I tend to do and offered specific advice on how to deal with the issues themselves. She saw the topics of betrayal and heartbreak, and when I explained that it was definitely not my home life, I think she was relieved that it wasn’t “another one of THOSE readings”. I assured her that I was blissfully happy on the home-front, and that the betrayals came from the medical community mostly, but I don’t think she really believed me until the cards pointed out specifically that my foundation was very much the 10 of Cups and that I truly felt myself as living in the 6 of Cups. Some of the more interesting points of the reading included needing to truly define a more narrow range for my future career path (instead of jumping around like I do), and affirming that though we’re not out of the woods all the way with Daniel yet, things are still going to turn out okay (as long as I stick to my guns and wield my personal power responsibly).
Hanging out with Kristen was just the coolest thing, and though we missed Joy (italiatemptress) a great deal, I totally understand about having the crapped out car AND being immensely pregnant. Still, I really hope I get to meet Joy at some point – Kristen went on about how cool and awesome she is, and I’m grateful that she has a friend that intimate and close to turn to.
Above and beyond that, Kira and I have hung out at the hotel, working on her homework, knitting, going over to Shoney’s for breakfast in the morning, and generally not exerting ourselves terribly much. It’s not like we COULD exert ourselves that much, what with the rain and the intense humidity that’s threatening to flatten us both like pancakes. I can understand why people would WANT to live here, but I don’t think I understand how they’re ABLE to live here.
And, yes, I’m still a little freaked out and uncomfortable, especially as we drove past certain areas that have seen some very intense emotional traumas, but I think I have to agree with the previous assessment that Katrina was, in many ways, a cosmic cleansing that released a lot of old crap from the city. Not all of it, mind you – not by a long shot – but enough that I didn’t feel like I was going to constantly crawl out of my skin. I count that as a plus.
I might even give in and let Joe take us here for a second honeymoon at some time. But not during the rainy season. And not in the summer. And not during Mardi Gras. I wonder if most folks even know that there are things to do here that DON’T involve drinking yourselves into early cirrhosis…