The Sonia Show

Writer. Mocker. Beer drinker. Old movie watcher. Mother. Goober.

You’ve been red flagg’d


Yeah, so, we were supposed to find out whether spawn was a boy or girl yesterday, but that didn’t happen.


Apparently, the doctor and I had a “miscommunication,” which means she told me we were doing an ultrasound, so that’s what I wrote down, but the appointment was just a regular ol’ checkup.

We did get to hear spawn’s heartbeat, which was nice, but we were really excited to find out the sex and to see the little critter. Oh well. I have an amniocentesis scheduled for Wednesday morning. We will be doing an ultrasound then and, hopefully, find out whether we should be coming up with boy name or girl names.

After leaving that appointment, I was told that another appointment was scheduled for me immediately after, and I needed to go to the 7th floor to meet with, well, basically, a counselor. I asked why, and I was told that somewhere in the millions of forms I filled out during my first prenatal visit, I checked something that made the counselor flag me for a visit.

“Oh well, I’m 40 and a breast cancer survivor,” I told David. “I’m sure they just want to make sure I’m handling everything OK. Pregnancy can be stressful.”

So, we walked up to the 7th floor. When my name was called, both David and I walked up and she told David he would have to chill in the waiting room. So, I went to the counselor’s office, and she told me what she does and then she proceeded to ask me a lot of personal questions. Stuff about abuse, mental problems, drugs, alcohol: So, I did what I always do when people ask me personal questions, I make a bunch of stupid jokes before answering the question. She laughed a lot, though. She was a good audience.

Her: “How old were you when you had your first drink?”
Me: “Hmm, 13, maybe. I had a wine cooler. A California Cooler, actually.”

Her: “When’s the last time you had a drink?”
Me: “I had a glass of wine right before I took the pregnancy test.”
Her: “Trying to get one last drink in?”
Me: “No, I didn’t know I was going to take the test, and I certainly didn’t know it would be positive.”

Then she asked me what kind of alcohol I like to drink. I told her that I mainly drink wine, but I really like dark beer, too. And that I don’t drink hard liquor at all because it makes me puke.

Her: “How many drinks does it take before you feel the affects?”
Me: “Have I eaten? That’s important.”
Her: “Let’s say you have eaten.”
Me: “Hmm, if I’m eating dinner, it might take three glasses of wine. Maybe. But if I have an empty stomach then two, I guess.”

Then, she moved on. She asked me about work. I told her that my job is awesome, and that when I was going through all my breast cancer recovery, my work was amazing, giving me all kinds of time off. She seemed surprised. She didn’t know I had breast cancer. That seemed odd. I thought that’s why I was flagged for counseling.

After 30 minutes or so of these questions, she said, “Well, Sonia, you seem really great. You look happy.”

“I am great. I am happy. I’m very lucky.”

“You are a success story. You handle yourself so well, especially considering everything you have been through. You seem like a very warm, funny, even-keeled person. I think you are going to be a wonderful mom,” she said.

It’s nice to hear from a trained professional that I’m going to be a wonderful mom, but I still had a lingering question.

“Umm, thanks … Can I ask a question? Why am I here?”

Turns out, on one of those millions of forms, I was asked this question: “How many drinks does it take you to feel the effects of alcohol?” I checked three.

“Well, three is about right, if I’ve eaten,” I told her.

Apparently, two drinks are fine, three drinks earns you a big ol’ red flag. I was marked as a potential binge drinker.

When she told me this, I nearly did a spit take with the lovely pinot noir I was drinking out of a cranberry juice bottle.

“Sonia, you are clearly not a binge drinker, and you have a great attitude and a great support system around you. I won’t need to see you again, but I’m going to give you some handouts about postpartum depression and my card.”

I thanked her for the talk, and I thanked her for her work. I’m glad that there is someone doing her job. I’m glad that Kaiser is paying attention and trying to help pregnant ladies. I have no doubt that she has helped countless ladies. Fortunately for both of us, I am not a binge drinker.

Now, spawn on the other hand …


Author: The Sonia Show

I'm a writer/mocker/goober/mother in San Francisco who likes to drink beer, shop, laugh and make other people laugh, podcast, watch old movies, feed my unhealthy obsession with pop culture, kick breast cancer's ass, wear orange and root for the San Francisco Giants, participate in general jackass-ery, talk about TV, eavesdrop on strangers' conversations, make nerdy “Star Wars” and “Simpsons” references, and post personal things about myself on the web for all to read, which makes me some sort of literary exhibitionist.

6 thoughts on “You’ve been red flagg’d

    Three drinks makes you “someone who goes to lunch.” Who are these people kidding?

    Hurry up already. I’ve got $10 on Male and I wanna collect.

  2. If I had been *really* honest on those forms, the folks at Kaiser would have “accidentally” pushed me down the stairs for the good of society.

  3. Ah, Kaiser. They’re great. We had the same experience. I should have known better. The form asked, “Have you ever felt like you drank too much?” In my mind, I was thinking, “Yea, I certainly wish I drank less at the wedding I went to in April. I spent the whole next day with my head in the toilet of a public bathroom in the airport.” Check box ‘yes’.
    But, apparently, that’s not what they meant. The counselor was hilarious.
    The counselor: “Come on, I know how it is. You have a drink when you get home from work. It feels so good that you have another over dinner. Before you know it, you’ve downed an entire bottle of wine before going to bed.”
    Me: “Um…what? No. That’s not ‘how it is’. Not at all”
    The counselor: “Oh, ok. Sure… well then, is your husband ever physically abusive?”
    She had the subtlety (and saavy) of a trench coat flasher.

  4. Pingback: I’ll drink to that | The Sonia Show

  5. Pingback: I’m getting all motherly and shit | The Sonia Show

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