Well friends, the curtains are drawing on the two week wait. At the crack of dawn R will head to the lab to have her blood drawn and four hours later, her beta hcg level will be faxed to Dr. A’s office in Ohio. The nurse will call and leave a voicemail on R’s phone to tell us whether our little embryos hung on for the ride. So many of you have dreamed and prayed about those little buggers, and we feel deeply honored to be held in your good intentions for the last few weeks.
Your friendship and encouragement has sustained us through a very difficult time, and we are so grateful. Tonight we are going to hunker down and enjoy some quiet time over cupcakes, delivered by our sweet neighbor. We have such an amazing network of friends and family, and I know we could not have come this far without you. So thank you for waiting with us, for hoping with us, for dreaming with us.
Apparently the stress of navigating our first IVF cycle, dissertation crunch time, postdoc and job applications, and a sick cat was a little too much. My body cried Uncle! in a big way. Early Thursday morning I woke up with excruciating pain all over my body. Even my skin hurt. I was shaking with chills and not a little unnerved. Since I spent more than two months living in a malarial endemic region within the last year, I’m supposed to go to the doctor at the first sign of fever. Of course, I couldn’t be sure I had a fever because when we arrived home on Monday I discovered an entire bottle of rubbing alcohol had spilled in the plastic box containing all the first aid supplies, including the thermometer.
I stumbled downstairs and tried to drink some gingerale, and soon R joined me and watched helplessly as I writhed in pain on the couch. By the time we finally got through to the emergency nurse line at the hospital, the gingerale and extra-strength tylenol had taken effect and we all decided I could wait to see the doctor at 8 am. When R got up for work I assured her I was fully recovered and didn’t need to see a doctor. She said I had no choice.
I went to the student clinic where I was given a mask and tested for influenza and malaria. An hour later I was back in bed, where I remained until now. I don’t know what that was, but boy I must have needed those 20 hours of sleep. I feel like a new woman. The birds are singing, the sky has stopped its usual deluge, and I’m drinking coffee again. All is right with the world.
And I feel so full of hope. I have so much goodness in my life. I can’t even count my blessings – they are so many. I have wonderful family to steady me in tough times. I have friends all over the world who care for me and send their best wishes. I’ve spent seven years in graduate school at one of the best public universities in the world, and it cost me nothing. I have a beautiful home filled with photos of friends and family and travel. I have the cutest nephew and niece in the entire world. I have my good health. Best of all, I have R, my love of 13 years. I am the luckiest woman alive, I’m sure of it.