Ode to My Husband

I am madly in love with my husband. I waited 21 years to find him, and I have appreciated him every day of our more than five years together. I tell him I love him daily, often multiples times. And, I would do anything for him, except to not have another baby.

For more than three years, I tried to accept not having another child, because my husband was content with our three sons, my stepsons, ages 15 and 13, and our son, 4 ½, and he was worried about financially supporting a fourth child. But, I couldn’t compromise any longer, as I outlined in my July 15 post, “That Woman and Her Mutt.”

Because my husband has supported my desire to try to have another baby, a biological sibling for our son, I appreciate him even more, and I didn’t know that was possible. Because of my age and my uterine abnormality, trying to have another baby means in vitro fertilization (IVF). And, the IVF process isn’t easy for either one of us. My husband has had to undergo blood and sperm testing; to provide sperm samples on demand; to deal with a bloated, exhausted, emotional, overmedicated wife; to take days off of work for egg-retrieval and embryo-transfer procedures and to take care of me while I’m on bed rest after them; to worry about how I’ll react if this doesn’t work; to control his own emotions.

I’ve never questioned his love for me because, as my former psychologist said, he “never pushed my buttons.” From the beginning, if he said he’d call, he’d call. If we set a date, he showed up on time. If he was going to be late, he’d call to tell me. He has always wanted to be around me, with me, as much as is possible. He’ll tell me how, after business dinners, colleagues will stay out late, drinking with each other, and he just wants to come home to me. He has always treated me with respect, with love—with adoration. But, what he has done for me during these past few months, through these two IVF cycles, makes me feel like the most loved woman on the face of the Earth.

Take this past weekend, for example. On Saturday, he took care of our four-year-old while I slept for hours, then grilled steaks for dinner, then cleaned everything up. Sunday morning, I woke up at 7:30 a.m. to all of the laundry washed and folded, and my husband walking in the door from the grocery store. He then went to have my car washed. He watched our son while I had an afternoon pedicure and ran errands, comforted me when I returned crying after seeing newborn twins at The Children’s Place, then watched our son again while I took a two-hour nap.

This week has been the worst I’ve felt. I’ve been nauseated for 48 hours. After a delicious birthday dinner on Tuesday night, I found myself in the restaurant bathroom with vomit in my mouth. Last night, I went to dinner with two friends and, on the recommendation of the server, drank room-temperature Sprite for two hours because I felt so sick. Today I’ve been in bed all day with a headache resistant to Extra-Strength Tylenol and, again, the nausea.

I didn’t feel so sick during my first IVF cycle two months ago, but, because I haven’t responded as well to the ovulatory-stimulation medications during this cycle, my dosage of my morning medication, Menopur®, has been increased twice, to 300 IU—double my original dose. My dose of my evening medication, Gonal-f®, has been upped also, from 225 to 300 IU. And, starting Sunday night, I’ve had a third injection each day of Cetrotide®, which insures that I don’t spontaneously ovulate before the doctor surgically retrieves my eggs.

This morning I dug out the information provided with each medication, and all three can cause nausea and headache, so all three together, especially at the higher dosages of Menopur and Gonal-f, are greatly affecting me. Thankfully, today is my last day of injections. All I have left is an injection at 11:30 p.m.—11:30 p.m. sharp, according to the IVF nurse—of Ovidrel®, which will stimulate my ovulation to coincide with my 10:30 a.m. Saturday egg retrieval.

Anyway, to get back to my husband, I picked him up at the train station at 5:30 p.m. today, and he asked our son how his day was. I said, “Oh, I’ve been a zombie up in bed all day, so, after camp this morning, he spent the afternoon watching TV and playing by himself. He trashed the downstairs, so don’t look.”’

“I never do,” he laughed. “It’s a survival skill I’ve honed and cultivated.”

He continued, “It is amazing, with me being so anal, that I just don’t look. It shows how much I love you.”

I’m a bad housewife even when I’m unmedicated and have energy. But I love my husband, I appreciate him, and I show him that every day, so he tolerates the minutiae. And, while he loves me, appreciates me, and shows me that every day too, he has gone above and beyond the call of duty during these past few months. I am extraordinarily blessed.

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