Saturday, March 19, 2016

A Long, Hard Week

For some reason, this past week kicked me in the pants.

The weekend before was wonderful in many ways -- we celebrated Bryce's birthday, and really gave ourselves space to enjoy each other and time out to dinner and out for walks.

Friday before last weekend was an annual fundraiser that our first clinic has run for seven years now. It supports fertility preservation for young women (and men) who face a cancer diagnosis that could threaten or downright steal their ability to have biological children. It's a great organization -- they provide low-cost egg retrieval and freezing at a rushed timeframe before treatments like chemo and radiation begin. The event is a silent auction and munchy foods/drinks shindig, and most of the doctors and nurses go. We went three years in a row before we left the clinic, and then our invite went missing. When we ran into our former RE at Wegman's and mentioned that we'd still love to go, he thought perhaps we had moved on and this was a natural progression. Not so, although the last time we went was right after we'd transferred our patienthood over to the Buffalo clinic, which was slightly awkward. When we were requesting our embryo information for the embryo adoption process, I also mentioned that we'd like an invite. So, this year, we got one.

It was significantly fancier than in the past -- now taking place on the 9th floor ballroom of a fancypants hotel near downtown Rochester, with an open bar of wine/beer and a buffet of food plus passed appetizers. It was great to see people, but also difficult to STILL be sans baby so many years later. We shared our adoption process, and everyone was excited, but it's not easy to have to constantly report, "yup, still no baby after all these years." One nurse actually cried as she hugged me, saying, "Your loyalty is just incredible, it's amazing that you are here supporting this event." Hard not to tear up with that statement. Bryce didn't really know what to say other than, "we're still fighting the fight," but I felt like I had to say, "Oh no, we lost that fight hard, but we're on a new path." I feel like still fighting the fight implies we're still trying through medicine, and that's behind us by well over a year (although it feels like a lot longer than that). It was fun, Bryce got to donate a large sum of money courtesy of his company and CEO, who, after having a record month of sales, told each employee that they could celebrate by donating $1000 to the charity of their choice. Pretty sweet, and what a great cause to choose.
On the terrace of the hotel, all fancied up
Because we were so busy seeing all the people we haven't seen in a long time and looking through the silent auction, we missed all the food. The tickets to the event were my birthday present to Bryce, and then I "won" a Culture And Romance package through the silent auction, but we realized at 9:30 when we left that we were STARVING. So we capped off an extravagant evening with a dinner out at a really nice restaurant. I got proofed, which I still don't believe was sincere, but was a nice ego boost just a month and a half away from my big four-oh.

The rest of the weekend was birthday celebratory and fun out at our favorite Mexican restaurant, where we spent over three hours visiting with everyone.

In our favorite booth, all cozied up with the birthday boy
The week was full of arduousness though. Tuesday was my day of special education annual reviews -- the giant meetings with students and parents and teachers and administrators and guidance/school psychologists/social workers and the 9th grade building representatives, to go over this year's progress and next year's plan. I taught in the morning and then had 6 meetings all afternoon, 30 minutes each. Everything went really well, but Monday was a late night making sure I was prepared and setting up the room, and I might have lost it a tad when my bag got stuck in my locked door at 5...
Sums up annual review season pretty well. This was taken by my friend who was also there late, and thought my bag and jacket stuck by the door was just hilarious, and demanded (in the nicest possible way) that I lie down on the floor, which wasn't much of a stretch from where my mental space was. I still had an hour of copying and organizing left to go... long day.
So, naturally, Wednesday was spent in a fog of being completely exhausted from all that. If we didn't have a massive sub shortage, I think I would take a day after annual reviews to recover, especially since I didn't take advantage of my IEP writing day this year...there just was never a good time to be out with what I was doing with my kids and I used a lot of February break to write them anyway. Maybe there should be a choice -- IEP Writing Day or IEP Recovery Day. Ha.

Wednesday was also a baby shower for a teacher who is due not too far from now, and I have to say it was a lovely shower. Hard not to think, "Hmmm, mine was in September and still not feeling all that much closer to a real-life baby here mid-March even with all the recent, think of all the dust gathering on our baby gear..." but it was quickly tamped away by the joy and fun of the shower. I had fun picking out four of my favorite board books for her new family to come. It also helped that I bought a book for myself, ahem, I mean for Mystery Baby. If you haven't seen this yet, go check it out. It is a beautifully designed book with a great story of quiet transformation. The artwork is gorgeous and clever:

An inside spread, one of my favorites for obvious reasons.
Then, Thursday was Lucky's big day. He went in for surgery at 8:00, and I was a wreck all day until we knew he'd made it out. Bryce worked from home that day, and he called in because as of 1:30 we still hadn't heard anything. He was in surgery for nearly 5 hours total, it was a really, REALLY bad case and they weren't sure at first that they were going to be able to get all his teeth at one pass. Poor guy had an abscess on top of everything else and the teeth were just so diseased it was incredible and the whole room smelled like death. BUT, they got them, and he did great, and we picked him up at 6:00. He was super high on opiates, and ran around the house like a drunken weasel, but ultimately ended up being incredibly lovey and purry and happy. He must have been in SO MUCH PAIN to be so happy after a five hour surgery and complete tooth extraction. He's a little messier without teeth, but he immediately got the hang of eating toothless and has had an AMAZING appetite. I can only imagine how much his teeth affected every aspect of his life, that he is so happy and such a great eater now.

Nothing too terribly awful, just a lot of high-energy and/or high-stress events this week. It sucked all my energy away. I cannot WAIT for break to come on Friday, because I feel like I have been going nonstop since December, and I am exhausted. I need that R&R.  We are going to Vermont for part of it -- we managed to get two nights at our favorite place because of a spring special that they emailed after all the drama of trying and failing to get open dates with food options. It's cutting it a little close with some travel Bryce has to do for work, but I have faith it will work and we will have our little rejuvenating hiking/wining/eating/bookshopping/reading getaway that will restore my spirit after the craziness of everything recently. It will be a nice capper to these next four days of school that include another day of annual reviews for the program where I am the ELA teacher (those aren't as exhausting though, as I am not the case manager, just a contributor). Then I will be free of the school-related, vet-related stressors.

I'm so glad there's some great things to look forward to while we trudge through the days leading up to Spring Break.


  1. Wow, that's quite a week! I'm glad you survived all your conferences and that surgery went as well as it did for Lucky (extracting teeth is such a big deal).

    I'm so impressed about your involvement with the charity event. Support like this is sorely needed for those facing treatments that could destroy their fertility, so I'm glad something like this exists. But the fact after all you've been through you're still involved speaks volumes about who you are as a person.

    May the weekend be a relaxing one.

  2. That does sound like an incredibly busy, stressful week! Hope Friday comes quickly for you and break is restful and refreshing.

    Glad to hear Lucky made it through his surgery and is feeling better/adjusting well.

    That's so cool that Bryce's company did that for their employees! And also a great cause!

    Gorgeous book - will have to look that one up. And will keep hoping for y' is so hard to wait.

  3. Enjoy your break! That massive review process sounds daunting.

  4. That is a very long week! Glad your kitty is recovering well from surgery and happily eating more. Yay for getting IEP meetings done and in the books. People have always told me that I would be a great special education teacher. But, the paperwork involved! I'm an organized person, but that kind of paperwork takes it to a whole different level of stress. I give you so much credit! Super happy your getaway plans worked out! Have fun!!!

  5. Enjoy your mini-break in Vermont. :)

  6. Oh boy do you need a break! Glad Lucky did well with his surgery!

  7. Sometimes you just need a floor nap. I'm so glad to hear about Lucky.