A couple of pics from my rough 18th week ... I am having a hard time differentiating between pregnancy-hormone unreasonableness and legitimate fears about the babies' health, my ability to carry them, and now new fears for my very loved dog, a 9-year-old boxer named Patch. He is suddenly so ill that I'm afraid he's nearing the end of his life. His blood work and fecal tests were normal, so I'm now waiting to hear whether he has lymphoma (we might be able to hold off the inevitable for a few months with chemo) or metastasized mast cell cancer (a possibility I cannot mention). This is a guy who has scrambled up steep mountainsides to carry water and soil samples for me while I was in grad school and who comes to work with me every day in a middle school classroom. Selfishly, I need him for one more task: snuggling on the couch together as the coming weeks pass and the pregnancy reaches viability and results in healthy babies. I simply cannot have him go while I'm still worried about the babies' health.