Friday, October 14, 2005

The Seventh Day of the Book Tour

This was a free day in Toronto, the day after the Launch Party, so we spent it at the hospital.
We went there in a taxi in the morning.
In the waiting room, a small crowd of people carried in an immense machine, with a baby hidden inside. They called excited instructions to each other, as if they were moving furniture. I think I heard someone calling, “This is triplet B, you’ve got triplet A!” I don’t know, I might have just been hoping it was triplets.
(A lot of these baby doctors have photographs of triplets tacked up on their walls. There’s a real pride in bringing triplets safe into the world, I guess, which is not surprising. Or maybe triplets make good photographs.)
A short, friendly woman did the form filling, to welcome me to the hospital. She asked questions about why I was here, and I said there’s been some bleeding. But not much, so I wasn’t really worried. I said we got a positive result for Trisomy 18 a week ago, so I’m going to have an amnio in a couple of weeks. She wrote it all on her form.
She said, “Give me your social finger”, and I didn’t know what she meant. I gave her my ring finger, thinking that might be social, people give you rings for that finger, so it’s friendly. But she scoffed at me, for not knowing. She said the other day there was an old woman who gave her the finger. Driving in a parking lot, and she must have blocked her or something and next thing she was flipping her the bird. She must have been 85 years old!
All these feisty old women, I thought, skating on the canal and flipping the bird. And I didn’t even know what my social finger was.
There were blood tests. “It looks like we’re taking a lot of blood,” she said, “but it’s just so we don’t have to prick you again.” She filled up five test tubes and gave them all labels. “Don’t worry,” she said, “we’ll leave you enough to walk around.”


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