Man, I thought that I was the first one of the M-13, Peace Corps crew to have a baby. Apparently, I'm behind the times. This is Deb's baby, Marjorie Siemhong Junkoon, and her husband, Pao. She was born on February 19, 2005 at 11:14am, Thailand Time. The baby was born via C-section 9 weeks early and weighed only 3 pounds. Deb, if you are out there. I'm wishing you and little Margee the best right now. Take care of yourself. God bless and enjoy having some sex for me. Many thanks to Elana, who sent me that e-mail.
So, speaking of sex.....I've got a half-hour to kill before my interview and some folks, namely a certain Fullbright scholar in Kazakstan, would like me to explain "how I got pregnant". OK- here it goes P....I got pregnant, well, as near as we can tell, in Brooklyn, NY at M.'s wedding. I blame a large quantity of champagne, the wonderful sight of my good friends and some really kick ass wedding cake. The FOB and I were staying in Anne's apartment, and for those of you that know Anne, you will know why that is such a twist to the story. The FOB and I couldn't afford a hotel room......yada, yada, yada, the rest is history.
Now the important parts of the story are these: I have been on birth control, off and on, since I was fourteen for menstrual problems. I was on birth control in college, in Mongolia and certainly in New Hampshire. Two things occured simultaneously that fateful night in October. 1) There was a national shortage of my regular birth control brand (as in not even WalMart could get it in) and I had switched to another dosage and brand of the Pill. 2) I had an abscess tooth that was killing me. I went to my dentist and he gave me intense antibiotics for the infection. By the time that I was diagnosed, the infection was starting to go down my throat, into my ears and causing me discomfort in my chest. Neither the doctor nor the pharmacist told me that taking this particular kind of antibiotic could negate the effects of birth control. I don't really blame these folks for not telling me, although it certainly would have been nice. Most likely the information was in that little white, folded piece of paper that you get stapled to your prescription. The warnings about birth control were probably hidden among my increased risk of high blood pressure and stroke.
By the time that I had the root canal, a month later, the doctor looked at what medications I was taking and told me that I should be using another form of birth control to stop unwanted pregnancies. Hmmm....good information. Can anyone guess what had ALREADY happened by that point? Yup. I was pregnant.
About a week after my root canal, I went to my friendly Planned Parenthood location for a yearly checkup. I peed in a cup and thought they were testing for a urinary tract infection. Turns out, while they had the urine, they tested it for everything. I had a UTI and a fetus. I sat there in stunned silence and asked the question that everyone asks upon hearing this news: "Are you sure?". Yes, she was sure. The downside about finding out that you're pregnant in a Planned Parenthood is that my nurse started whipping out brochure after brochure. I could have a medical abortion, a surgical abortion, a third-party adoption, advanced pre-natal care, and, my personal favorite, "Signs that you might be pregnant". Could have used that brochure before. She just kept handing me things and my mind kept numbly repeating, "I'm pregnant. How could I get pregnant? I was on the pill. Is she sure that I'm pregnant?" It was like falling down a deep well....every question led to another question. I left the office with a wad of used Kleenex and no less than eight brochures.
I drove to the FOB's restaurant and found him. He was wondering why I would be crying after going to the doctor (which is never a good sign) and I told him the news. He said that after he heard the words, "I'm pregnant," everything just went blank. He's pretty sure that I kept talking, but all he heard was the rushing roar of blood surging into his head as he tried to comprehend what I had said. That was November 15th. I quit smoking, drinking and taking birth control pills that day. For a while, I had stopped taking the anti-depressants, but my therapist said something like, "For the love of God, woman, go back on them." Well, those weren't her exact words. OK, maybe it was more like, "I think that you have a lot to handle right now and abruptly stopping your medication may not be the best way to cope with everything." So I went back on. Woo-hoo! Meds + Early pregnancy hormones = One chipper mom-to-be.
That's the story. Gotta go and dance for the organ grinder. Dance - monkey - DANCE!