Empty Stomach, Empty Womb

No food or drink after midnight, the nurses said.

I hate fasting. I really, really hate it. On the car ride down to my D&E, NPR aired a story on gluten free food that made me so hungry I had to change the station. When we arrived at the hospital’s surgical center, the receptionist gave us a buzzer just like we were at a restaurant. The waiting room smelled like french fries and I wistfully watched a woman sip her grande Starbucks drink.

Our buzzer buzzed and we were led to the pre-op room, where I changed into hospital attire and joked about the handy pocket in the johnny. (The “pocket” is actually a quick-access portal to my chest in case of emergency, a nurse explained.) The OR nurses have a completely different vibe from the IVF ones. The IVF nurses always seem a little blasΓ© and patronizing, plus they’re mixed in with the green fellows and interns, who I never fully trust. Here, there were no students– just the nurses, the anesthesiologist and the OB/GYN– and I instinctively KNEW they were good.

I was asked again if I was a medical professional. Sigh. I’m flattered, but no, I’ve just been doing this for a really long time.

The actual procedure was easy, thanks to the expert anesthesiologist. She had me completely out for the exact length of the procedure and no longer. I wasn’t aware of them putting my legs in stirrups, sticking on electrodes, doing the procedure, putting mesh panties and a pad on me, or transferring me back onto the gurney. It is really an exercise in giving up control. Sadly, it must feel like this sometimes for the elderly.

Back in recovery, I woke up crying. One of the nurses was right there beside me with a comforting hand and a box of Kleenex. I’m sobbing now as I remember. She even offered to give me a minute alone before K came back into recovery, which I was relieved about, but alas, K was already on his way in. It’s not that I’ve wanted to hide any emotions from him; I’ve just wanted to be strong for him. This time around, he’s needed to lean on me.

I’ve been happy to be strong for him, but I definitely could’ve done without making my own dinner that night. It p*sses me off and perplexes me that K does NOT have the gene to wait on me hand and foot after a procedure like this. I was STARVING after fasting all day (DUH), but he just didn’t understand that food needed to happen for me RIGHT NOW. So I put some chicken noodle soup on the stove and informed him that he was in charge of bringing it to me when it was ready. I guess that’s as close as I’ll ever get to hand-and-foot. Either way, there’s really nothing better than chicken noodle soup followed by a giant bowl of ice cream. ❀

(By the way, I'm sorry this update took so long. You guys deserved to read something substantial, so I sacrificed speed.)


15 thoughts on “Empty Stomach, Empty Womb

  1. I am so sorry, I teared up reading this because I know how tough this was for you. Unrelated, my husband also has what I assume to be the same dominant gene your husband has. I just need to remind myself that I ALWAYS have to ask for what I need, sigh. Thinking of you, so many hugs.

    • Good to know I’m not the only one with a spouse like that! He does help, but he just doesn’t anticipate my needs and sometimes even seems to drag his feet. Could that kind of anticipation be a predominantly maternal trait, I wonder?

  2. You’re definitely not ALONE in the “Must I do everything myself?” department?” I’ve been cleaning and cooking and all since then and attempting to take care of my 4 yr old daughter too….needless to say she’s skipped a few baths here or there until I got to the point of running the water myself and saying starting most of the process and telling him I hurt too much you gotta finish this…. It’s not that they don’t care….it’s that they don’t quite understand I think… If your like me and tend to be “supermom” doing everything..It’s hard to “let go” or “give in” I actually pulled a muscle in my lower abdomen the other day and had to explain to him NO MORE… So I ask for him to bring me stuff and put my plate up or give Rayme a bath. My health comes first. Your’s too. Your body went through something traumatic…you need recovery….don’t hurt yourself like I did.

  3. Glad you had competent medical professionals–I never take that for granted. We always get take-away when I don’t feel like cooking, and I get whatever my heart desires (cheesecake? thai? burger?). Thinking of you friend! XO

  4. I’m glad you had good doctors to take care of you. Hope you’re feeling ok, physically. So sorry about the lack of hands-on support from your husband though. Mine isn’t great in that department either, though he did heat some leftovers for me right after the transfer. But for dinner, I was back “on duty”…
    Thinking of you.

    • Thank you for asking! Sorry that I didn’t see this when you first posted. I’ve been fine physically for a few days now (and it’s nice not to be pregnancy-exhausted any more). But the emotional stuff comes in waves and the triggers are unpredictable.

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