The cyst is out. Her name is Harriet, by the way. She was extracted a week ago today, by my faboo OB who sent me home with pictures. Harriet, like her brother Harry, was a dermoid or dermacyst — a cyst on the ovary (right side this time) that was filled with hair and fatty tissue. But again, not as big. And apparently my doctor didn’t fake gag while talking about Harriet, so she wasn’t as gross as the other one.
What IS gross, however, are my arms. My surgery was scheduled for noon. And I couldn’t eat or drink anything after midnight the night before. No water for 12 hours. I was so. freaking. thirsty. Also, dehydrated. And I’m breastfeeding, which means I drink like 2 liters of water on a normal day, because a ton of that fluid goes to the mammaries.
I should also mention that I am what phlebotomists call a “hard stick”. I know this for a fact, because while you’re pregnant, you have to take a ton of blood tests and I ALWAYS had issues. I was the person in the clinic sitting in the chair with 5 hot packs along both arms and two people searching desperately for a vein. I’m the person who will point out at least 3 viable veins that have been found before and have said — on several occasions — “there’s a pretty good vein on the top of my hand. If you use the smallest syringe, the one with the butterfly clasp, you should be able to thread it.”
Yeah. I’m that person.
So when I showed up at the clinic for my surgery at 11 a.m., and was taken pack to the pre-op area, I warned the nurse. She checked both of my arms and decided to try for one on my right arm — and couldn’t thread the IV. At that moment, the anesthesiologist walked over to introduce himself. Since she had issues FINDING one vein to try, she roped him in to help. He looks around, requests a syringe with numbing medication, and goes to town on my left arm. About 10 minutes later, another nurse walked by to say that they could start my surgery about 30 minutes earlier than planned, so my doctor was on her way over. When she saw the problems they were having, she stuck around, trying to help the anesthesiologist and the first nurse find a vein. Another 10 minutes pass and yet another nurse starts trying to find a vein.
When my doctor walked in at 11:30, I had four nurses and an anesthesiologist hovering around me. I had tourniquets on both arms. Everyone was starting to get desperate. She joked to them: “Can you guys get the IV?” And they actually paused before answering in the affirmative. I just shrugged at her: “I’m a hard stick.”
The four nurses deadpanned “no kidding.”
In the end, the first nurse got the IV in on the top of my left arm. Cumulatively, they tried to thread the IV in 12 different places. The top of the arm. The forearm. The inner wrist. The crease of the elbow. At one point, they even took my socks off to check my feet for viable veins. Once they got the IV in, the anesthesiologist immediately shot me full of medicine to make me drowsy. One nurse said they’d tell my husband they were taking me back and ran out to get him so he could say “goodbye” really quickly. By the time he got to my side, I was already woozy — fighting to keep my eyes open long enough to tell him I loved him.
When I woke up, my arms hurt. My shoulder hurt. My stomach hurt too. I went home, eased into bed, and fell into a deep sleep. I woke up in time for dinner to sore arms. I looked — and still look — like a junkie. I have giant bruises along my arms, especially in places where the anesthesiologist repeatedly tried to thread the same vein by probing around the area with the needle.
Arms aside, the recovery hasn’t been so bad. The pain is what I’d consider minimal and I’ve been off pain medication for 48 hours now. I’m not pain free, but its not so bad that I want to take pills for it. Mostly, I’m stiff and sore. I can pick the Munchkin up no problem, but struggle to carry her when she’s in her car seat. I really struggle, actually. I haven’t tried to pick Buddy up yet. And it kills me that I can’t play with him the way I want to — but it won’t be much longer. I’m trying to be patient and let myself heal.
In other news, Buddy can climb out of his pack n play at day care, which means that naps have gotten interesting over there. Today he napped on his pillow in their front room — instead of a bedroom. He slept for an hour and a half once he settled down.
Miss Munchkin , also got athletic this week. On Tuesday she rolled from her tummy to her back for the first time. Fact: She hates tummy time with the fire of a thousand burning suns. Nothing guarantees angry cries like tummy time. So you can imagine her glee at being able to turn herself over.
There was the moment of total shock followed by one of the biggest smiles I’ve seen from her yet. It was like she was saying: “Hell yeah, bitches! You can’t make me stay on my tummy anymore!!!”
I will be so screwed once I have two fully mobile children. So. Screwed.
Also, she wouldn’t do it in front of the Super Spouse. Luckily, I took pictures during her second attempt, so I have proof.
So a couple friends of mine have started a blog about trying to get pregnant. You should read them, because they’re brilliant, funny, and poignant. I find their blog and journey fascinating, and it is right here. And I also feel like a complete ass when I read about their struggles. Because I’m “that” friend who got knocked up pretty much immediately when I tried — and then got pregnant when I was on the pill. And since I have no idea what they’re going through, I can only support them. I can read their posts wish they were in my living room so that I could hug them. I can send them loving, fruitful thoughts.
I can try to not put my foot in my mouth while doing it.