My surgery was originally scheduled for December 9th, a Tuesday. I was to arrive at a nearby surgical center mid-morning, all casual-like, basically the back entrance to where Us Vain Types would typically show up for consultations ("can you make me look like *this*?" while pulling back on skin), to buy super-fancy skin care products, or to get various toxins injected into various body parts.
A freestanding medical mullet: Spa party in the front, surgical bloodbath in the back.
But then, during my pre-surgery shower (with that horrible drying Hibiclens anti-microbial soap that my skin has STILL not forgiven me for using), I noticed my phone was blowin' all up on the sink counter. Call after call, followed quickly by a voicemail notification.
A pipe had burst somewhere in the building overnight, and there was water leaking into a far corner of the OR.
Surgery: cancelled. Womp-womp.
Since I'm not a big believer in cosmic signs and symbols, nor am I always good at remembering that everything happens for a reason or other things that other people like to embroider on throw pillows, let me just say that TUESDAY WAS NOT A GOOD DAY and leave it at that. I may have tried to assure my doctor to C'MON, PLEASE, I promise that a little water doesn't bother ME, I'm CHILL, I'm a COOL GIRL, the patient who DOES NOT GIVE A FUCK.
He was (thankfully) not swayed by any of these excellent, totally logical arguments, but said he would do his best to get the surgery rescheduled, but couldn't guarantee that it would be anytime super-soon. Months and weeks of meticulous planning and scheduling, A good 48 hours worth of sky-high anxiety and worry and now...well...okay, never mind. The first-worldiest of first-world problems, but there it was.
After much wrangling and back-and-forth, my surgery was moved to Saturday and given a venue change: At a for-real actual hospital OR, with the extra costs and fees being absorbed by NOT ME.
I guess, in retrospect, it was a bit of an upgrade. But by that point I was just like, "Yeah, cool, whatever." I'd hit peak anxiety and made it down the other side, I'd dealt with the mind-fuck of a last-minute cancellation, and now I was just like, let's get this over with already. Giddy the fuck up.
I showed up on Saturday just about as chill as could be. I answered questions, made jokes, changed into my gown and bright yellow socks and texted anyone who was awake at that early hour while Jason nodded off in a chair in the corner, because he'd neglected to make himself any coffee in our big rush to get out the door so we could hurry up and wait around for hours at the hospital.
"I'm getting the strangest sense of deja vu," I said to him at one point.
"Me too," he agreed. "It's quiet in here."
"No fetal heartbeat monitor," I pointed out. "Whoosh-whoosh-whoosh."
He laughed. But it was true. The last two times we'd been in a room like that, me in a gown, hooked to an IV, him sitting in an uncomfortable chair off to the side, and the waiting, waiting, waiting for the show to begin — it had been for my scheduled c-sections, and both of us were now having weird muscle memories about those days.
There was even some irrational corner of my brain that seemed to be preparing itself for another one, running through the steps and what would happen in a few hours when another baby made his appearance. Diapers, nursing, swaddling, car seat. Even though what was actually happening, obviously, was happening only because we were really really really REALLY sure that there will be no more babies for us.
It wasn't sad, it wasn't empty. It was just, "Huh. I feel like I'm here to have a baby, even though I'm not. That's weird, right?"
It was about this time my nurse came in and confirmed that the required pre-surgery pregnancy test I'd taken had indeed come back negative, and we were ready to proceed.
"Yay!" I said. Then I showed her pictures of the boys on my phone and we got along pretty splendidly.
I'm feeling GREAT, by the way. All follow-up visits have been pretty uneventful, I'm easing back into work, making dinner, helping with the kids and homework, etc. My in-laws left last night, as I am off all of the prescription pain meds and cleared to drive.
Which is good. Because this afternoon I'm driving my husband to get his vasectomy.
(DAMN, Storches. We don't mess around, do we?)