5.20am: alarm goes off, time to rise and shine...wait...it's pitch black. Good thing I get up this early every day and am used to it.
5.45am: out the door, driving to the airport. Still dark and midnight and in addition it's pouring rain. We can barely see the lane lines. Thank you, wonderful husband, for handling the driving!
6.15am: Hello, airport. The security screen is slow, and they're using the new full-body scan technology, which slows things even more and makes one feel as if somebody is taking a mug shot in prison. We make it to our (very far away) gate with time to spare. The plane is fifteen minutes late. I use the time to make myself up. I don't know why, but I always find myself doing so when I go to a doctor's appointment.
7.30am: takeoff! We spend the next forty-eight minutes dozing.
7.45am, Central Time: Hello, O'Hare, International Airport.
One blue line train and one red line train later...(plus the requisite argument that has to pop up every time we travel)
9.30am: Downtown Chicago. My husband navigates from the train to the hospital. Brief stop into the nearest Corner Bakery for oatmeal -- and cookie, it comes with a cookie! -- and tea. This is, you see, the breakfast of champions (and medical students needing sustenance for rounds).
9.45am: check-in at the REI office. Eat oatmeal and sip tea (and the cookie -- can't forget the cookie). (Requisite make-up following requisite argument.)
10.00am: meet with nurse coordinator to fill out lots of paperwork. Husband answers lots of infectious disease questions. Nurse coordinator explains what we need to do to get the IVF meds where they need to. All contracts need to be signed by 7 April. GOOD NEWS: We are on schedule for implantation sometime between 6-11 May! We'll be out of the country visiting my husband's family for two weeks, but since he will already have done his part, and I have no part, we can wait for the call as easily overseas as we can at home.
10.30am: meet the doctor. Brief history: Husband is healthy except for hyperlipidemia controlled on rosuvastatin, with stable elevation in LFTs. Brief physical exam: lungs CTAB, heart S1, S2+ RRR no m/r/g. He listened to the heart through clothes. And he did not find the PMI or check for lifts/heaves first. I did not point this out. Tempting, yes, but a detailed cardiac exam is not necessary for the purpose at hand. Apologies to Osler. I turn around while the doctor swabs my husband to check for GC and chlamydia, which I certainly hope is a mere formality! (It is however apparently quite painful, Husband reports.) And then it's out the door without so much as an explanation of the IVF process. The consent form explains things in detail, and I pretty much know anyway. I ask my husband if he wants to read the form and he doesn't. So like a man. You would think the science would interest him, considering he's an engineer, but apparently not.
10.45am: down the hall and to the right for bloodwork. I sit and try to read about glomerulonephritides while Husband gets six vials of blood drawn. He comes back and announces that this is his new record for bloodwork. I guess it takes a lot of blood to check HIV, RPR, Hepatitis panels, blood type and Rh status, and probably more things I can't remember. I suppose I don't mind being spared the needles. Husband is a gem and doesn't complain.
11.00am: sit with husband while he eats lunch in the hospital's Au Bon Pain, which, incidentally, is nicer than ours. He buys two sandwiches and I buy one to eat later. I end up taking a bite. No flavor. I can't bear to throw it out, so we wrap it up and save it for later.
11.30am: back upstairs. Husband has to -- how shall I put this -- provide his genetics, which get frozen until the X chromosome is available. I pass the time braiding my hair and reading the latest issue of Journal of General Internal Medicine.
12.00pm or so: back on the sidewalk, headed toward the train. It's chilly outside but not so unpleasant that we don't window-shop. We are, after all, walking the Miracle Mile. It's fun to be part of a bustling city with streets full of people and fancy stores and street vendors (and even the occasional mendicant).
one red line train and one blue line train later...
1.00pm: O'Hare International Airport again. I feel like I've got deja vu. The security line moves far more smoothly here. Once again, I have my prison intake scan. I'm hungry and hoping to find something tastier than the sandwich. We walk by every single food stand in the nearby terminals but nothing is that appealing. We also almost miss the sign to our gate. When we finally arrive at the gate there isn't a single seat. I sit on the floor eating the sandwich (at least it tastes a bit better seasoned with hunger) and Husband stands and talks to his classmates on the phone.
2.00pm: board the plane
2.30pm: takeoff! We are both so sleepy that we don't even awaken for the beverage service. Husband is very thirsty and frustrated that he doesn't get his water or his orange juice.
4.45pm: Eastern Time: home sweet home. We drive to the university so Husband can make it to class. We're too tight on time to drop me at the medical school where Mama is waiting to give me a ride home, so I go with to the College of Engineering. Mama says she will be there in about twenty minutes. Fifty minutes later (twenty of which I wait outside in the damp chill and lose all feeling in my extremities) Mama finally picks me up.
7.00pm: walk in the door of my house, nibble at the leftover cake from my best friend's shower, pour myself a cup of tea, and read email.
8.30: Husband arrives home. Kiss him hello and go shower while he watches television.
9.20pm: In bed, hair blown dry, lights out.
10.48: Mama calls to tell me she doesn't need a ride tomorrow. I guess I will do the 5.45am commute alone.
And that's a wrap!