Tag: phlebotomists are awesome

Our secondary infertility story: Part 5 – Ovulation Tracking

This post was written in December, 2015. We’d been trying to conceive since July 2014. 

You can catch up on parts 1 to 4 here…

Part 1
Part 2

Part 3
Part 4

As I write this, I am coming to the end of a cycle of ovulation tracking by blood tests. It’s been quite the time consuming process and I have spent a lot of time hanging out with phlebotomists in pathology clinics. I have had to have tests at least every few days (sometimes a few days in a row) and it has been a bit exhausting!

When I first started doing it, I was already getting used to the fact that blood was being drained out of me constantly (I’d already had a bunch of blood tests done for other exploratory things). I was kind of blasé about it. I thought the biggest annoyance would just be the time it would take going back and forth to the hospital (where the pathology place is).

A few days ago, I started to feel the emotional effects. The ones I had been completely not expecting. I had been very clinical in my approach. Guess it all catches up with you eventually. I tried to give my right arm a rest but my left arm wouldn’t give up any blood. Twice. So I was getting upset at having to turn my right arm into a pin cushion. I started to feel drained (ha – literally!) when I had a bunch of tests all in a row, with no days off. I started to realise that the closer I got to the end of the tracking process, the more real it felt. Like, what happens after? I hadn’t thought about AFTER. I was just all about one foot in front of the other.

Since I started these tests, the Christmas decorations have been put up in pathology. That’s nice. The staff are all so kind. Like really. Like I would hug them if they weren’t always holding needles (and if it wasn’t probably inappropriate haha). There’s one lady who always says sorry when she sticks the needle in and says she’s just not sure why she does the job she does, but she’s so full of empathy and adorable that it distracts you. There’s the lady who is super efficient so you don’t have time to worry about anything. In and out. Then you’re out of there. There’s the guy who is young and makes me feel super old but who put me at ease with great chit chat and made me miss my brother (they have the same name). There are all of the phlebotomists who recognise me because I’m there so much and treat me like a real person. I am so grateful. I guess they make their living by having to put nervous people at ease, but I think it’s more than that. They are wonderful people.

Today, one of them told me that she knows I must really be feeling over it. She said she hopes that she sees me when I’m eventually pregnant. She had such compassion in her eyes. I hope for that too.

I’m starting to enjoy the drive in to the hospital. I make the most of it. I turn up my fight songs and sing (or rap) along. Lots of Bliss and Eso seems to do the trick. I park my car, put on my game face and I march on in there. I take a number like a boss and I catch up on my Facebook newsfeed while I wait. I have read great comment threads about feminism, ‘mummy blogging’ and racism. I get right on up in there, because I have the time to.

On the way out, I send a snapchat photo of my arm to a select couple of supportive friends, Mr Unprepared and my parents. Another one down. It makes me feel not so alone.

In the car, afterwards, I take a deep breath and brace myself to take on the rest of the day. Sometimes the blood test is forgotten in minutes. I hug the Little Mister (if he’s not at day care) or I take some time out for myself – even if it’s just a few minutes. I try to remind myself I don’t have to be superwoman and that having blood removed from my body constantly is not nothing. I have to go easy on myself mentally and physically. Sometimes I have a cry, but mostly I try to stay strong. I can’t help but feel guilty sometimes, when I feel depleted and sad. I mean, there are people going through way tougher stuff every day. I am in awe of those people.

I don’t know what the results of these tests will be (I suspect I am ovulating OK or at least my hormones will say so). I don’t know exactly what the next steps will be (it’s not like I’ve done this before – not this way). I am not sure if my doctor will catch it, so he can call us and confirm in real time when I’m good to go (haha). I don’t know what it’s like to go from here. I’m a bit nervous about the unknown. I have good days and I have bad days. I just hope that I’m a step closer to our dream of having a second baby*.

 

*maybe just give it another year and a half 😬

The Happy List #46

Happy Monday, everyone! I managed to dress myself and a small person and get that small person to school on time today, so that’s a win isn’t it? I was a bit thrown off because I could have sworn today was Sunday, after having a Saturday type of day yesterday. Know what I mean?

So in a nutshell, let’s all cheer because I know what day of the week it is.

Kicking goals, as usual.

So here are some things that have made me happy lately…

The Olympics are over!

I know. I know. I am a jerk. I mean, I watched a bit of the Opening Ceremony. I  accidentally saw some rowing and asked my husband some dumb questions about it. I got feisty when that commentator said that Simone Biles’ (USA gymnast) adoptive parents were not her parents. I saw a woman fall off her bicycle really badly into a concrete kerb and wondered if she was alive (she was!) as the cameras kept following all the cyclists who didn’t fall off their bikes, like nothing happened. I watched my husband watching the basketball. My heart went out to Kim Mickle when she hurt her shoulder throwing the javelin.

BUT…I just couldn’t pretend I am into sport anymore than I already am (which is almost not at all). It’s exhausting. And it was on just about every TV channel. I was in it for the human interest stories, not the actual results. Now I can go back to being ignorant about it all. Yay!

Don’t judge me!

Bad Moms

Firstly, it weirds me out deliberately spelling it ‘moms’ as we spell it ‘mums’ in Australia. But secondly, OMFG that movie was hilarious. I watched it with a kick arse friend from my mums’ group. Someone whose hens night will always go down in history as one of my favourite nights out ever. Because bad mums hahaha.

My girl crush on Mila Kunis went off the charts and every actress in the movie killed it (in a good way I mean).

As I hooned drove to the cinemas (ALONE!) with Seth Sentry’s song Hellboy pumped up loud in my family friendly all wheel drive wagon, I had a hunch I was exactly the demographic the movie was exploiting and I was right ?

Totally not sponsored, but go with your girlfriends and watch it!

Friendly phlebotomists

I don’t know if I’ve put these ladies on a happy list before or not (sorry if I’m being repetitive but just wait until I talk about the weather), but they really are nice. Sadly, due to my little fertility problem, I’ve spent a lot of time in pathology being stabbed by needles. Today, they knew me by name and what I was there for before I even said hello. They are always so kind and encouraging. They joke with me. They have really made a tough task much more bearable. I am so grateful.

I talked to one of my faves today. She’s so gentle and kind (but spunky) and I laugh every time she apologises profusely while she sticks the needle in. I asked her how she does it, joking that I couldn’t do the job because I hate seeing the needle go into the skin, so I’d probably look away, which is probably not recommended! She’s told me in the past that she was scared of needles, so I assumed she took her job to confront her fears (I’ve heard that from a few phlebotomists in my time). She said she used to be a nurse and she hated to see people come onto the ward from emergency, covered in bruises, their veins all busted up from people who were rough inserting IV lines etc. She decided she wanted to be the person to give them their needles and take their blood because she wanted to do it well and make it better for people. AMAZING. I told her she’s awesome. Isn’t that compassion inspiring?

I don’t think many people might want to thank their phlebotomists for poking them with needles, but I do. Because even though I hate the reason I am always there, I am glad they go to the trouble to make me feel at ease.

Conspiring with the Little Mister

Tomorrow is Mr Unprepared’s birthday. The Little Mister is at a really cute age where we can have fun surprising people. We got Mr Unprepared his present together and stashed it somewhere top secret. The Little Mister told him we just got him “socks and clothes”. And then followed up by saying excitedly, “I’m fibbing! It’s something else.”

Because 4 year olds do not always have a filter.

So Mr Unprepared had a little giggle about that.

But he still doesn’t know what we got him, so props to the little guy haha.

The sunshine trying to kick winter to the kerb

OK, so it hasn’t been successful, it’s been cold and we’ve had a lot of clouds and rain, but I really feel like the sunshine has been trying harder to make its presence known. Like spring might actually be on its way. It’s nice. Even if it’s just an afternoon or an hour in the morning, it’s been a really nice change from grey gloom and doom.

Other stuff that has made me happy…

  • Cute dreams about the Little Mister
  • Laughing so hard about a ridiculous bicycle gang in joke with friends (long story)
  • Having social plans to look forward to
  • Online shopping (duh)
  • A beach outing with the family (silly dogs included)
  • Chatting with lovely artists about prints I’ve imagined up.

 

What has made you feel happy lately?