I am relieved to report that Liev’s appointment with the perinatologist revealed his heart arrhythmia was nothing to be concerned about. How I worried for him! Most of the night, I spent adjusting my restless and uncomfortable body. Upon awakening, hysteria seized me when I could not feel him moving. An hour into my panic, Liev sprung to life. Sheesh.
The drive to El Paso seemed interminable. I annoyed both Egor and myself with neuroticism over driving and parking. Other mothers in the waiting room nodded drowsy heads or thumbed magazines with slack mouths. One older pregnant woman slumped in a wheelchair pale and defeated as if no worse fate could befall her. I pushed self-pity aside.
During the appointment, the perinatologist, Dr. Topgun, ignored me, except for routine health questions. Could he smell my anxiety? Did he fear acknowledging me would complicate his ten minutes with us? Naw. He and struck up an animated conversation with Egor about North Korea and nuclear weapons. Perhaps Dr. Topgun fancied Dr. House’s bedside manner? After he scrutinized the ultrasound, he explained why Liev had a slight heart arrhythmia and that it would disappear at or before birth.
In a flash, he examined the rest of baby’s little organs, declaring him sound and healthy. I asked a question or two, and Dr. Topgun turned the clock back to 1945 when the “little woman shouldn’t worry her pretty little head when the doctor tells her everything will be fine.” I was so relieved that I didn’t mind being infantilized. I’m ashamed to admit that his attitude reassured me.
In retrospect, he was an ass to have disrespected me, and a non-pregnant Lori would have asserted herself with dignity and aplomb. Egor, however, warmed to Dr. Topgun because he was genuinely impressed with Egor’s laser work. Finally at ease, Egor pushed me into asking a question I was too embarrassed to mention about umbilical cord entanglement.
Topgun’s answer redeemed him. He said, “You can’t let yourself worry over every little thing, bad things can and do happen. You’ll drive yourself crazy if you do. Just focus on being parents. That’s the best you can do.”
Cool. Adding to the warm fuzzy feeling I left the office with, they gave us a nifty 3D ultrasound picture of Liev. That blur in the upper right-hand corner is his foot! I think he looks just like Egor, look at those lips! Naturally, he inherited his flexibility from me (not!). I wonder how long it will take me to find something horribly wrong with this picture. I’ll keep you posted!