For this week’s Show and Tell, I will present some artwork that I recently bought. Then, I will announce the winner of this week’s Dirty Laundry contest and her prize, which is related to the artwork.

During the unpleasantness of the 2WW during IVF #2 earlier this month, I did a lot of web-surfing. One of the sites I came across was Wall Blank. I really like the idea of this website: every day, they post one piece of artwork. It is available for purchase for one week, unless it sells out first. Editions seem to run in the range of 50 to 200 prints — small enough that you won’t see the same print at someone else’s house. If by some chance you do, you will be delighted that you both share the same good taste and belong to such an exclusive club. Maybe you’ll then develop a secret handshake.

Some of the art is photography; some are prints of paintings, drawings, mixed media, etc. Prices are extremely affordable for limited edition artwork. Really, extremely affordable — I have paid more than twice as much for photo prints that were 1/4 the size.

Offering a new piece every day brings a fun sense of anticipation and variety; one of my favorite Google Reader clicks every day is the new Wall Blank print. The one-week deadline creates an interesting sense of urgency. One day between IVF #2 transfer and beta day, I was smitten with a photograph. Each day, I would consider whether to buy it. During moments of optimism: art for the baby’s room! During moments of pessimism: art that will remind me of the failed cycle. During moments of realism: art that will simultaneously connect me to the past and the future. Finally, I decided to make the purchase a couple of days before the one-week window closed. Not knowing the outcome of the 2WW, I didn’t know whether optimism, pessimism, or realism would turn out to be correct. I did know that if I failed to seize the opportunity, I would regret it later.

Here is the photo that I purchased (the image is from the Wall Blank website; the print looks even better in person, but I haven’t framed it yet so I can’t show you what it looks like on my wall). The visuals are striking, but the title and description sealed the deal.
dreaming
Dreaming Makes Life Colourful. Description from Wall Blank:

This photo was taken in Seoul during the Buddha’s birthday celebrations. This was taken at Jogyesa, which is one of the temples in central Seoul.

In the Buddhist religion Buddha’s birthday is the equivalent of Christmas for Christians. At this time of year Buddhists can make a wish in the form of a message attached to a lantern. Those wishes are often peoples’ dreams and can include desires for world peace, good health for a loved one, or success in something they’re doing that year. I feel those who are striving to achieve dreams are living life to the full, and as such lead a life full of colour and joy. Every dream has it’s own colour and uniqueness, so hold onto your dreams.

By Simon Bond. An archival pigment print. Includes a signed & numbered certificate of authenticity.

As someone who is in the midst of trying very hard to achieve a long-time dream, this description spoke to me. The British spelling of colourful was icing on the cake.

The one-week deadline has long since expired, so none of you can buy this particular print (sorry!) unless it makes a surprise reappearance someday, but something new appears each weekday. I’ve seen several other offerings that would make nice metaphors for infertility, and many that were aesthetically wonderful.

This brings us to the Dirty Laundry contest winner. Earlier this week I posted ten items of dirty laundry, anonymous bits of honesty about people in my life. I asked readers to guess how many my husband would correctly identify.

He correctly identified most of them instantly. Amusingly, the one that I said would be pretty easy for him actually required extra thought. The one that stumped him the most was ironic: it’s about one of his relatives, and it’s more his complaint than mine — which says something about his attunement to my emotions as well as his own ability to move quickly past things that bother him (an ability that I don’t share). But, after some thought, he got all ten of them correct.

This means that Anita from Hope.Faith.Patience is the winner, since she was the first to guess 100%. Honorable mention (but no prize) to Danielle and Shinejil, who subsequently guessed 10 out of 10.

Anita’s prize is any artwork of her choice from Wall Blank. She can choose something that’s currently for sale, or she can wait until something catches her fancy.

I was all set to pay for the artwork myself, as I have done with my other contests, but in the course of emailing customer service to ask a logistic question about the gift certificate, Wall Blank’s founder Shawn generously offered to provide the print for the contest. Thanks very much, Shawn!

Anita’s IVF cycle was canceled yesterday. I hope that winning this contest will be a pleasant distraction for her, and that she’ll be able to pick a piece of artwork that helps her look to the future, as mine does for me. Congratulations, Anita; I wish you the best with your surgery and the next cycle.

More optimism, pessimism, and realism at Show and Tell.

IVF #2 2WW Blow by Blow

January 13, 2009

By nature, I am a pretty calm person. DH’s über-calm style has influenced me to be even more calm. But some powerful chaos lies dormant inside me — I inherited some pretty nutty genes from multiple family members.

Those chaotic genes have been activated during the second half of this 2WW.

With IVF #1, my patience (and avoidance) was so great that I didn’t POAS until 3 days after the beta would have been scheduled, extending the 2WW into a 2-and-a-half-WW. IVF #2 has been the complete opposite.

During the chicken-with-its-head-cut-off phases of this 2WW, I have scoured the IF blogosphere for posts of people who were at the same point in their 2WW, and I have found their subjective accounts immensely helpful. So, I’m going to give you a blow-by-blow in the hopes that it is helpful to someone else, now or in the future, during the throes of 2WWorry.

The following information comes from my IVF #2 spreadsheet — after abandoning them for a few treatment cycles, I am back to spreadsheets. It’s either indicative of optimism or an inability to distinguish one day on the couch wearing pajamas from the next. Probably both.

transfer day, 1dp2dt: Houseguests still here; some residual cramping from retrieval, but otherwise fine.

2dp2dt, 3dp2dt, 4dp2dt, 5dp2dt: Feeling lazy and sometimes sleepy, but otherwise fine. I stare repeatedly at the photos of my beautiful embryos.

(Here is where the “fun” begins.)

6dp2dt: After many lazy days, I am suddenly full of energy. I get as far as cuing up the video for a Qi Gong workout (which I have never done before, but it is gentler than the power yoga that I usually do) but don’t actually manage to do any exercise. I also have a tiny bit of nausea during the day, but in the evening I am moderately nauseous. That night, I am completely unable to sleep until after 4 a.m., totally anxious and 2WWhacked out. When I finally fall asleep, I have drawn-out dreams about BFNs and BFPs. Full scenarios, such as BFN followed by changing health insurance followed by FET or another IVF.

(My husband likes to make fun of me for my lame dreams, because he dreams about sports and sex but I tend to dream about topics like work and math. I may have topped my own nerdiness by dreaming about insurance.)

7dp2dt: Although I was planning to wait until the weekend, obviously my brain cannot take it anymore and I decide to POAS. My strong nausea must mean I’ll get a BFP, right? Nope. BFN. Granted, it is extremely early to be testing. Later in the day, I am again nauseous at night. I am also constipated, which often makes me cranky but in this case my mood is okay. I also spend most of the day being active or sociable, which probably helps.

8dp2dt: Bleeeeeeh. Constipation has given way to loose stools. I have a tummyache with some nausea most of the day. I am decidedly cranky. Oh, and also still lazy.

9dp2dt: Time to POAS again. BFN. I check Betabase and determine that there is more than a 50-50 chance that even if I were truly pregnant, I would still get a BFN at 9dp2dt. This does little to affect my mood, which becomes miserable. DH offers the wisdom that if I were supposed to test on 7dp2dt or 9dp2dt, they would have scheduled the beta then instead of 12dp2dt. The constipation returns, and I also have a bit of spotting/light pink bleeding. This is the first bleeding since the post-retrieval bleeding stopped. I don’t know what to make of this. DH goes out of town, and when I drop him off at the airport it feels as if I’m saying goodbye for months instead of a week. On the way home I go to the store and come close to bursting into tears more than once. Not much of an emotional eater, the only thing at the market that I can find to bring me any comfort is high-end hot chocolate mix.

10dp2dt: A little more spotting, but not much. Energy is higher, and I actually make it to the office. Still a bit nauseous and a bit constipated — I don’t know what to make of these symptoms. When I get home and check the mail, it contains a letter from the embryologist saying that none of my three extra embryos made it to freeze. I start to freak out, because the two embryos that were transferred were graded the same two of the ones they did not transfer. This means that if this cycle fails, instead of FET it’s right back to IVF. But more importantly, I also feel like it bodes poorly for the embryos that were transferred. Not entirely logical, I know, but my hope was already fragile and now it’s almost non-existent.

11dp2dt: POAS, BFN. Back to the drawing board. I guess there’s a tiny chance that the beta will be positive, especially given that I accidentally used First Response Rapid instead of First Response Early for today’s BFN, but I’ve wasted too much of my energy in the past seven years on glimmers of hope.

(Oh, and since my out-of-town husband is going to get the BFN news by reading this post, sorry. I love you.)

The beta is tomorrow. Tonight’s PIO injection is going to suck.

Conclusion #1:
Early POAS is great if it’s positive, but torture if it’s negative. (Obviously, you don’t know which it will be until you test.) But without POAS, I don’t know if I would have slept in the past five days.

Conclusion #2:
No matter how optimistic an RE is about a cycle, he is not in control of the babymaking gods. I wish I knew who the god-wrangler was — I’d bake him all the uterus cookies in the world.

Egg retrieval for IVF #2 went pretty well this morning.

First, for your listening pleasure as you read the rest of my post, my retrieval playlist (which I played this morning to begin my journey to the clinic, followed by an hour of other Radiohead songs):

No alarms and no surprises please
–Radiohead, No Surprises

For you I’ve waited all these years
For you I’d wait ’til kingdom come
–Coldplay, ‘Til Kingdom Come

I believe in you and me
I’m coming to find you
If it takes me all night
–The Killers, Everything Will Be Alright

I was able to do all of the preparation for the houseguests yesterday (with the help of our housecleaner), except for a few things I finished this morning before leaving the house. The eight houseguests have dwindled to five — the family of four has been replaced by That Guy. The family bowed out because the logistics were too difficult with young children — not the kind of parent that I hope to be, but very typical. Once That Guy realized that most of his friends would be at this party, he just had to join in. When I previously told you That Guy is the kind of husband’s friend that most wives can’t stand, I was so correct. Even though the Other Hosts have room for That Guy, Mrs. OH has decreed that he is not allowed to stay there. In contrast, DH and I welcome everyone. Once you have four houseguests following an egg retrieval, what’s one more person?

Back to the retrieval. A snowstorm started just as we were arriving at the clinic.

Nine eggs retrieved. 111 million sperm, though they only need 9. Not much else to tell. I think I’m getting used to the general anesthesia; I’ve spent the whole day awake (we’ll see how long that holds out during the New Year’s celebration). Not sure if the transfer will be Friday or Saturday.

Unlike IVF #1 at the hospital, at the clinic they let me wear my own socks instead of the lawsuit-prevention socks with the rubber soles.

Hers

Needing as much luck as we can get, I decided to expand the sock superstition by giving DH a pair of his own today. He’s been lobbying for cozy socks for months; I bought these for him weeks ago but forgot about them when we canceled Christmas. DH said there was no way he was wearing nothing but these socks during his part of the process. Since we agreed that he could keep his shoes and other clothes on as well, he has become quite fond of them.

His

By the time we were finished with everything, the snowstorm was in full effect. Our drive home took almost twice as long as usual. Here is a photo depicting the early stages of the storm, featuring the pole outside of the clinic which always cracks me up.
Pole

Then, literally as we were backing out of the parking spot to start the long drive home, DH received a phone call from Mr. Other Host, who will be hosting tonight’s New Year’s Eve party. “Good news!”

Can you guess what kind of good news someone who has been married for six months might have to share?

Of course, the Other Hosts are pregnant.

They will be telling everyone in a grand announcement tonight at the party. DH actually has known about the pregnancy for two weeks. Mr. Other Host specifically asked to strategize with DH about the best way to tell me. Because of our decision not to tell any of DH’s friends anything about treatments anymore, Mr. Other Host does not know about the current IVF, but he does know about our fertility issues. It was very kind of him to tell me individually ahead of time rather than ambushing me in front of 20 other people.

As much as I appreciate Mr. Other Host’s sensitivity, when I was put on the spot to respond to his announcement on speakerphone, still groggy from anesthesia and in a lot of pain from post-retrieval cramping, I could only muster the weakest congratulations. DH effusively expressed his genuine excitement for them, but I didn’t share it. I absolutely care about them and want the best for them; they will be good parents, and Mr. OH is one of the most family-oriented people I know. It’s not the same bitterness that I’ve experienced with some other announcements, but I felt and continue to feel no happiness at all for them. Maybe I would have on another day, but today is not the day.

I also feel a bit like they stole my thunder (even though it was secret thunder).

So now, in addition to pretending that I’m not in terrible pain throughout the party, I must get ready for the big announcement and hours of talk about pregnancy and babies. If anyone asks when we’re going to have kids, I swear to you right now, I will say, “Fuck off” and then insult them. Today is not the day.

I foresee the creation of a sub-party in the basement, with DH, single guys, video games, and me. The sign on the door will read: No Breeders Allowed.

But the day hasn’t been only grumpiness. As we left the clinic, I spotted a restaurant and told DH to pull in, famished from having been NPO since the night before. In the midst of the snowstorm, standing outside the restaurant trying to draw customers inside, I saw something which I hope will be a good harbinger for 2009.

Bear

Thanks to everyone for all of your good wishes. Happy New Year to all of you.

Perfect Moment

First, the perfect moment: I have never been so happy after an ultrasound.

My follicles are ready for trigger.

2 18mm, 2 17mm, 16, and 15. As I said yesterday, I would have liked to see more follicles, but at this point I just want to get this show on the road. More than anything, I want to stop waking up at 5 a.m. or 6 a.m. for blood draws and ultrasounds. I’m supposed to be on vacation, at least from New Job; I still have to go in to Old Job somewhat. It was comical last night when Old Job boss called me at home (yes, on a Sunday night) and asked for a meeting today; I had to think hard to figure out how to fit him in between blood draw and ultrasound, acupuncture, and possibly driving almost two hours round trip to the pharmacy.

Pending confirmation from the RE’s office, the follicles’ progress means that the egg retrieval will occur on Wednesday. New Year’s Eve.

Usually we boycott New Year’s and all other similar holidays, but for once we do happen to have New Year’s plans. Specifically, some friends (hereafter called the Other Hosts) are having a big party. The party is such a major event that more than a dozen friends from other cities are coming in. The majority of those people will be staying at my house, for several days.

I’m not sure how it happened that two guys staying over turned into two guys, a couple, and a family of four. I wasn’t enthusiastic at the prospect of the family, in part because I’m not always as fond of kids nowadays as I usually am, and in part because small children inherently demand extra effort. The family also happen to be acquaintances more than friends, which makes the effort less compelling.

My first instinct yesterday as I heard DH talking on the phone, warmly exclaiming, “Sure, of course the whole family can stay here!” was to scream “Noooooooooooo!” My actual response was to make wild hand gestures to DH and whisper, “No! Out of the question! I do not want them staying here. That would be horrible. You have got to be kidding me.”

After DH’s abrupt “Uh, I have to call you back,” we negotiated terms. My visceral reaction to children gave way to trying to negotiate the logistics of more than a dozen out of town guests fitting into two houses, ours and the Other Hosts. I succumbed to the collective good, as well as to the visceral reactions of Mrs. Other Host (though they didn’t say this directly, I have a sneaking suspicion that the couple staying with us is banned from staying at the Other house because the woman once dated Mr. Other Host).

Then I fell asleep, catching up on sleep lost to the early morning trip to the R.E. By the time DH returned from the pharmacy road trip, everything had been settled.

So, I will prepare for eight guests’ arrival ahead of time today and tomorrow, and then I will not lift a finger on Wednesday or Thursday. Or rather, I will try very very hard not to lift a finger. I will not be bossy while I order DH around. I will make up some mysterious reason why I can barely move. I will concede all of the locations in my house where I normally recover after such surgeries. General anesthetic makes me sleepy for more than a day afterward, but I will be sweet and cordial while passing in and out of consciousness.

No one can ever accuse me of being anything less than a gracious hostess.

Head to Weebles Wobblog to see more Perfect Moments.

A Day in the Life

December 19, 2008

This is what has happened in the last 24 hours.

  • Thursday, 3pm: Hurriedly wrap everything up at work and leave early
  • 4pm: Arrive at home for the first time in 6 days since ice storm and power outage; everything seems fairly intact; work for a couple of hours
  • 6pm: Support group meeting
  • 9pm: Clean out refrigerator and catalogue contents; basically everything must be thrown away except mustard (tip for future weeklong blackouts: brie and goat cheese don’t fare well unrefrigerated for a week); we actually don’t have enough garbage cans for everything, so a bunch of stuff must wait in the freezer until the next trash day
  • 11pm: DH announces after exercising and trying to take a shower that there is no hot water; I spend half an hour crouching on the boiler room floor trying to fix the water heater; no success
  • 12am: DH drops laptop on floor and the guts start spilling out; the limits of his Zen are tested, but my own calm over the computer helps to diffuse his guilt (hint: I’m a lot calmer over computer demise when most things are backed up and just a few files aren’t because the power outage interrupted the nightly server backup that I had instituted after several previous computer catastrophes; I am even calmer when those few lost files belong to someone else)
  • 1am: we go to bed; DH is shivering from dried sweat without his shower
  • Friday, 6am: wake up
  • 7am: blood and dildocam for beginning of IVF #2; DH sits in waiting room, too sleepy to read Newsweek or his book and too disgusted to read the brainless tabloids
  • 7:30am: drive 1.5 hours to house where cat was being generously babysat during blackout
  • 9am: retrieve cat; DH borrows their shower since they have hot water
  • 9:20am: drive back in the direction of home; do work while DH drives
  • 10am: consultation with “genius” at Apple store reveals that cost of fixing computer is almost as much as buying new computer
  • 10:10am: DH waits in car with cat while I desperately try to locate a bathroom in the mall; after speedwalking the entire length of the mall, I find that the bathroom in the food court is filled with workmen, who vaguely direct me downstairs
  • 10:13am: get stuck at escalator behind woman who is gingerly trying to step on (seriously, she stood there for more than 20 seconds); when she finally steps onto the escalator and I maneuver past her, I see that she is carrying a huge waffle cone of ice cream (did I mention that it is 10:13am?)
  • 10:14am: discover that downstairs bathroom is locked
  • 10:17am: sprint to department store where bathroom is located in the furthest possible corner, past the portrait studio filled with a queue of cranky toddlers wearing Christmas sweaters and dippity-do in their hair
  • 10:19am: reach working, unlocked bathroom
  • 11am: go to pharmacy and pick up IVF medications; insurance covers PIO and estrogen pills, and the other almost-$4000 is up to me; DH’s eyes bug out of his head
  • 12pm: get home, both resume working
  • 1pm: plumber arrives, spends an hour fixing water heater (I wasn’t incompetent after all; it really was broken — by the way it’s only a year old, and the damage was definitively caused by the blackout)
  • 2pm: file insurance claim; there will be a $1000 deductible, but we’ll still be able to recoup a bunch of expenses, including the plumber, food, hotel, and spoiled Gonal-F — I think
  • 2:30pm: I discover that while on the phone with insurance, I missed the call from RE’s office; nurse’s voicemail left only partial instructions; when I call back, they have closed the office due to the snowstorm and aren’t even accepting voicemails; I decide to use my judgment in conjunction with a small slip of paper with a scribbled protocol that Dr. Full Steam Ahead handed me a couple of months ago
  • 3pm: blizzard begins

Is there a snow equivalent of “when it rains, it pours”?

We’re fine, really. It’s just a lot for one 24-hour period with no shower; few food options in the house beyond mustard, crackers, and oatmeal; and little sleep. At least the hot water is back now, we got take-out on the way home, and I can take a nap whenever I want.

Stims start tonight!

Post-Op

November 15, 2008

Hysteroscopy went well! Nothing to report really — no abnormal findings, no endometriosis, no fibroids, no structural problems. No news is good news, right? I kind of hoped that he would find something because maybe that would have been the true reason for the years of infertility and the two miscarriages and then we could have fixed it, but I guess it’s better not to have anything actually wrong, even if the term “unexplained infertility” is so infuriating sometimes.

At yesterday’s support group meeting, I heard many horror stories about hysteroscopies, and went from no-longer-too-concerned to rather freaked out. Of course, most of the members with horror stories had also had laproscopies, which probably explains much of the difference. Based on having the same RE as some of the members but a different RE than others, it also seems like Dr. Full Steam Ahead, as aggressive as he may be in many ways, is also judicious. He doesn’t order extra medications that happen to sometimes have terrible side effects, just to cover his own ass in case something goes wrong. Score one for Dr. Full Steam Ahead.

Of the three times I’ve had general anesthesia, this was the quickest wake-up and least groggy aftermath. The anesthesiologist told me beforehand that he’d be administering agents that would specifically allow for quick wake-up. Score one for nickname-less anesthesiologist.

Even so, I wasn’t fully awake most of the day — not coherent enough to blog, anyway. Lori can attest that she received an email from me with no punctuation, no capitals, and plenty of words and parts of words missing. Most of that resulted from typing with one hand, supine, rather than incoherence, but I was certainly not at 100% mental capacity.

Dr. Full Steam Ahead talks very quickly and proceeds with treatments quickly, so it should have been no surprise that he performed surgery quickly. Apparently I was in the OR for less than 10 minutes. The whole experience took more than 3 hours, though.

I was sensible enough not to bring work with me to the hospital. I did spend most of the morning before the surgery working — in part after a phone call home from one of my bosses who urgently needed me to check over his changes to a project that’s been hanging over my head all week and which I had finally finished in the wee hours on Thursday night/Friday morning. But I turned around a quick response to him (“All of your changes look wonderful, thanks, all set, let’s proceed [and now you can stop bothering me]“) and moved on to less brain-intensive work. I haven’t checked any of my work email accounts all day — I figure that by now, nothing is so urgent that it can’t wait until Saturday or Sunday; plus, can’t a girl get a day off to have surgery? Not that anyone from either job knows about the surgery (or anything about IF at all — except for the lady from HR).

Instead of bringing work, I brought an issue of Vogue to occupy the pre-op waiting hours. Because of my work schedule I’m an issue behind, so I got to read all about Valerie Jarrett on the campaign trail with Obama, coincidentally on the same day that she was named White House Senior Advisor (though I didn’t know it yet in the hospital). I also read all about fashion trends that have already passed.

(Side note: I bet you didn’t think I was the kind of woman who read Vogue cover to cover every month, did you? Yeah, well neither did I. I received a subscription as a gift, but have been enjoying the feature stories and even-handed, fairly feminist journalism very much. The fashion I can take or leave, though I guess I do like increasing my familiarity with the top designers for the sake of being even more well-rounded and capable of talking to almost anyone at a cocktail party. That is the same reason I watch a single episode of many reality shows, just so that I don’t have to stand there mute while everyone else goes on and on about that sassy Santino or Cloris Leachman’s joie de vivre or Gary Busey’s latest Buseyism. I already don’t want to talk about child-bearing or -rearing topics, so I need to keep my other conversation options open.).

The other event of note was an answer in terms of whether I’d be able to start the month of BCPs for IVF #2 (whenever my period arrives — once I figure out how to distinguish post-op bleeding from my period, that is), complicated by the need to wait for insurance authorization. I’d delegated this task to DH since I assumed that Dr. Full Steam Ahead couldn’t make a determination until after the surgery, at which point I might be entirely loopy and incapable of medical decision making or full sentences. Several days ago, after my long phone call with the RE’s office about health insurance, I explained and reexplained the issue to DH carefully. DH wrote down the questions he was supposed to ask verbatim — including things that weren’t part of the actual questions, such as “because you will be unconscious and can’t ask the questions yourself.” (“Enter Laughing,” anyone?). When we got to the hospital, DH recalled his assignment but realized that he had forgotten his notes. In hushed tones in the waiting room, we went back over the questions until DH had all the details memorized.

Then, it turned out that DH didn’t need the notes nor the cramming session at all. I got to ask Dr. FSA the questions myself, when he came to check on me before surgery. He said that as long as I didn’t have any endometriosis there would be no problem in starting the BCPs immediately. This is probably a different stance than some doctors, and also as I understand it quite different for laproscopies or any surgeries where, for example, structural problems are addressed. Anyway, Dr. FSA said it was fine to start the cycle immediately, and I had to grab him (verbally — I am not in the habit of grabbing anyone physically, plus I was hooked to an IV rendering one arm immobile) to ask more questions about the chain of events that had to do with insurance. Excessively long story short, he agreed to give me the prescription on my way home so that I could start the BCPs whenever my period arrives, even if insurance isn’t sorted out yet. Score two for Dr. Full Steam Ahead! There is no way I would ever have gotten the prescription out of the nurse before the insurance authorization was finalized. It’s actually pretty sensible bureaucracy in this case, but Dr. Full Steam Ahead knows that the IVF cycle will get paid for one way or another. And he’s the boss, so he wins.

I was a pretty good bedrest patient after IVF #1, but since I haven’t been in much pain, I have been up and about more than last time. DH drew the line when he discovered me in the process of installing a curtain rod — I managed to mark up the future holes on the wall, but he insisted that I stop as I was on my way to get the power drill. There are a lot of things I can and do “delgate” to DH, but handyman tasks are not among them.

I had originally planned to go to the pottery studio tomorrow, but since I’m not supposed to drive (nor do strenuous physical activity, which pottery can certainly be depending on the task), maybe I’ll do some light work from home on Saturday (even though I’ve been trying to keep Saturdays work-free for the past few weeks) and instead satisfy my Pottery Jones on Sunday.

Finally, lest I paint DH in an unfair light, I will point out that he was fantastic all day long. He told me repeatedly how brave I was. He was affectionate and sweet. He waited patiently (armed with laptop and wifi, plus a spare book in case the wifi hadn’t worked out) the whole time at the hospital, and on the way home he even called my favorite soup restaurant to see if they were serving the flavor I was craving — despite being almost-late for a work phone call that he had to make as soon as he’d gotten me settled at home (I was out of luck, so instead I had a different soup flavor at home). He made my meals, and he went to the supermarket when I felt like eating something that we didn’t have at home. He watched the TV shows I wanted to watch.

Most IF bloggers seem either silent or fairly positive about their partners (perhaps because most of the partners are reading the blogs?) but the support group yesterday was full of griping about how husbands don’t understand what we go through and aren’t helpful and don’t take enough time off work for RE appointments and don’t know any of the abbreviations or terms and did we mention that they don’t understand what we go through? There was audible surprise when I mentioned DH making a phone call (a relatively minor task, he and I both agreed, but one that was stressing me out and neither stressed him out nor took more than 10 minutes of his time) that one of the ladies was describing always making entirely on her own, over and over, despite the stress. I got the impression that no one else in the room could depend on their husbands to do the simplest of tasks (unless the women who didn’t mention much about their husbands were just too sheepish to flaunt their supportive husbands — personally, I would rather set the bar high and have someone go home and demand what she needs from her husband with me as an example).

DH and I share the perspective that if I’m going to give myself shots multiple times a day, go under the knife repeatedly, be rendered out of commission for days at a time, and wake up several hours earlier than usual on dozens of occasions for dates with a dildocam, it is entirely reasonable to expect him to make a few phone calls, go downstairs to put something in the microwave, drop by the pharmacy, and yes, produce a “sample” a few times. I knew that I have the Best Husband in the World long before we experienced infertility, but the nomination is definitely clinched now. Thank you, Designated Husband!!! He prefers to think of DH in a sports context rather than as the usual Dear or Darling — not that he minds being called dear nor darling. My dear, darling, dapper, droll, determined, dependable, dynamic, dedicated, delightful, Designated Husband.

Thanks also to the commenters for all of your reassurances and well wishes, and to silent lurkers who may have mentally sent positive thoughts in my direction. As your reward, tomorrow you can look forward to a Show and Tell that has nothing to do with my uterus.

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