Posted by Sarah Tuttle-Singer
Some folks are afraid of spiders. Others are terrified of wide open spaces. Some shudder at the thought of public speaking, while others have nightmares about clowns. I am scared of germs. Like, “don’t you dare touch my child unless you’ve washed your hands with boiling water and antibacterial soap, and have used a paper towel when turning the bathroom door knob, or I will cut you,” scared. I’ve always been this way, and no amount of therapy or heavy drugs is going to change this. Since taking my kids outside to the grocery store is already hard enough, as you can imagine, going to the pediatrician’s office is a test in heroics.
And, to make matters more challenging, while some doctors offices have separate rooms to segregate the sick from the healthy, our Los Angeles pediatricians office only offers a narrow center divider, with colour-coded chairs on either side. Blue if you’re sick. Orange if you’re healthy.
Yeah, like the germs give a shit where you sit. Trust me, they will find you: The last time M had a ‘well baby’ visit, she came down with Roseola, and the time before that, she caught a nasty cold.
In other words, going to the pediatrician’s office is like enduring an intense session of immersion therapy.
The good news is, Dr. S is one of those rare pediatricians who is almost always available to offer advice over the phone, which means that 9 times out of 10, we’ve saved ourselves a trip to Pathogen Paradise.
The best thing about Dr. S is that he doesn’t care who calls him: He never asks for names or medical record numbers, because he figures that if you’re calling him, then there’s a sick kid involved and it’s his job to help. Period. The End.
Since we’re Fobby new immigrants getting smacked sideways by every virus and bacteria known to Israel, I’ve racked up a lot of long distance calls to Dr. S. (Hi B. You thought my cellphone bill was high? Just wait until you see our landline.) The best part is that when it’s 1:00 am here, and M is puking up a lung, or Little Homie’s poop has a decidedly greenish hue to it and my mind is swimming – no, drowning – in a sea of Very Scary Thoughts thanks to sleep deprivation and very real circumstantial evidence that Something. Is. Wrong. With. My. Children. Dr. S’s office is still open, and I can get him on the phone in two minutes.
And every time I hear Dr. S’s cheerful voice, I am comforted, remembering the halcyon days in Los Angeles when I could navigate the medical system in English.
And until we make our way back home to the blue and orange seats in Dr. S’s waiting room, I will continue to stay in contact with my favorite pediatrician from the other side of the world. Hell, I may even send him a postcard, because fair is fair. And if the phone charges are too high, I can always sell the number to his direct line to other exhausted, overwhelmed and terrified new immigrant parents facing wave after wave after wave of illness, again and again and again. And again.
Believe me, it’ll be more lucrative than selling weed on Ben Yehudah Street or hooking in South Tel Aviv.
And a lot less germy.
|I wonder what germs Little Homie’s licking now.|
Kveller.com offers a Jewish twist on parenting, everything a Jewish family could need for raising Jewish children—including crafts, recipes, activities, Hebrew and Jewish names for babies…and advice from Mayim Bialik.
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February 12, 2011 | 1:23 pm
Posted by Sarah Tuttle-Singer
On the off-chance that you’re living in a cave with restricted internet access that only lets you read The Jewish Journal, Mubarak has stepped down as president of Egypt.
Everyone I know back in The States is tossing around the words “freedom” and “liberation” like confetti all over facebook. In fact, it seems like the whole world is celebrating.
But I’m not ready to join the party.
Actually, I’m a little nervous: I’m a few hundred miles away from Cairo. And while being thisclose to Egypt is cool if you want to check out the pyramids
And, for all his faults, Mubarak helped keep the peace following the Camp David Accords.
In fact, during the recent fire in the Carmel, Mubarak sent planes to help put out the inferno. That’s pretty neighborly if you ask me.
And while katusha rockets come hurtling down onto Israeli towns in the North from our less-neighborly neighbors in Lebanon and Syria, the border between Israel and Egypt has been (relatively) chill.
In other words, there are no tanks in the Sinai ready to “drive Israel into the sea.”
Yeah, I know, I know, Israel is not the center of the world. The revolution isn’t about the Jews or Israel or my family on the kibbutz… And clearly Mubarak screwed up during his tenure because obviously his people were unhappy. Hell, even members of the Egyptian military defected on the job and joined the protesters. (That sound you here are students in Berkeley singing Kumbaya .)
Sure, right now it looks like Egypt might move in a more liberal direction, but the truth is we do not know who will seize power.
And so, while everyone celebrates, I think I’ll stay home and watch the news instead.
February 5, 2011 | 12:34 pm
Posted by Sarah Tuttle-Singer
We saw the Romantic Comedies. We read the books.
And here’s the stuff they left out:
THE FIRST TRIMESTER:
—You’ll probably develop carpel tunnel syndrome from spending over an hour a day on Google trying to figure out if those niggling pains in your pelvic area that you’ve been feeling for a few days are period cramps, or possibly (oh please God!) pregnancy symptoms… Then you’ll google “carpel tunnel” and “pregnancy” to see if there’s a correlation.
—Even if you’re TTC, chances are, you’ll be smoking a cigarette or drinking a glass of wine
a day or two before you find out you’re pregnant.
—You’ll be secretly thrilled to have an excuse not to suck in your tummy. Or wear Spanx. But until you start looking pregnant, you’ll just look a little bloated. And this will piss you off.
—You may bleed. I did. In both pregnancies. And it was a nightmare. Both times.
—Transvaginal ultrasounds are bionic dildos sheathed in condoms and squirted with a lot of lube. It’s like a sci-fi porno starring your Lady Business… and your bladder if you forgot to pee before your doctor shoved that thing inside you.
—There’s an unspoken rivalry between women who puke and
women who don’t.
—Unless you’re upfront about being knocked up, people will assume you had a boob job.
—Panty-liners will become your best friend. And if your partner goes out to buy them for you and doesn’t judge, then he or she is badass.
—Hormones are no joke, and should be a valid defense if you cut the bitch who took your parking space in front of Krispy Kreme.
—You will hold your breath until you cross the First Trimester finish line.
THE SECOND TRIMESTER:
— You’ll spend at least 20 minutes a day looking at your profile in any full-length reflective surface you can find. You will celebrate when your belly"pops.” But really, you still just look bloated.
—The hormone defense should still hold water when your partner brings the wrong kind of ice cream home from the supermarket. And you cut him or her.
—You will have crazy-intense dreams. And not flying-with-unicorns-over-rainbows-in-outerspace-dreams. Unless you’re into that sort of thing. In other words, you know how 14 year old boys have to change their sheets every morning? Well, you will too. And you’ll love it.
—The first time you think you feel your baby move, it’s probably just gas. Sorry.
—At the 20 week ultrasound, all babies look like Voldemort. Even yours.
—There comes a time in (almost) every pregnant woman’s life when she fantasizes about her OBGYN or midwife.
—Maternity bras are fugly.
—Bellabands are da bomb.
—There’s (another) unspoken rivalry between women who want to know the sex of their baby, and
women who don’t.
—Your nipples will leak.
—You’ll fart your way through the Second Trimester.
THE THIRD TRIMESTER:
—That shit they make you drink to test for Gestational Diabetes will make you swear off sugar for a day. But if you have a choice between the Orange or the Yellow, drink Yellow.
—Sex becomes an elaborate game of naked twister.And not in a good way.
—At around 30 weeks, even though you’re only gestating one fetus, someone will say to you “are you sure you’re not having twins?” You’ll feign indignation. Hell, you may even post how pissed you are on a facebook status update. But secretly, you’ll be thrilled.
—Cocoa Butter does not prevent stretchmarks. Save your money. Trust me.
—You aren’t glowing. You’re just really sweaty and oily from the hormones.
—Getting off the couch will become a test in heroics. But it will serve as a training exercise for your marathon walk down the candy aisle at the Supermarket.
some of your friends are tired of the belly pics you’re posting on facebook.
— Around this time, you’re going to start buying a ton of Mozart CDS and wooden toys made by magical elves in Scandanavia. And you will judge the shit out of real parents. You know, those with actual kids that are on the outside who blast Gangsta rap and let their babies play with
plastic toys made in China.
—Sciatica feels like you’re getting stabbed in the ass with a very very very very very sharp icepick.
—During the final stretch, if your OB/ or midwife checks your cervix during a Braxton Hicks contraction, you will want to kick him or her. But, since your legs are in stirrups, you’ll just look like a moose on iceskates. And then, you’ll probably fart because you’re (still) gassy.
—You may feel like a (gassy) beached whale, but you’re beautiful. Really and truly, you are.
—Your mucous plug looks like your vajeen hocked a giant loogie.
—If you want to go into labor by your due date, don’t pack an overnight bag, don’t shave your legs, don’t get a pedicure, and for GODSAKE, don’t wear clean underwear.
(I haven’t had a C-section, or a Home Birth, so I’m only going to write about vaginal birth in a hospital setting here… If you had a different experience that you want to share, please send it in. I’ll post. )
—You will want to die.
—You will want to kill the
person who “did this to you.”
—You will scream and kick and possibly shit yourself. More than once.
—At some point, you will realize that you can do this. And you will.
—Pitocin is not satanic, but it will make you bleed more.
—At some point, you may offer to fuck an anesthesiologist in exchange for a quick epidural. Just because birth is natural and women have been doing this for thousands of years does not mean you have to skip out on pain management. Remember, this is your body.
—If you feel like you need to, well, um, have a long meeting in the bathroom with a newspaper (ahem), then it’s probably time to push.
—The laws of Stockholm Syndrome dictate that you will fall in love with at least one person in the Labor and Delivery room. And that person will not be your partner.
—All the olive oil and perenial massages in the world will not prevent you from tearing.
—No words or metaphor can adequately describe the sweet relief you feel once your baby comes corkscrewing out of you.
And yes, it’s all worth it.