IVF round 1 : 2. You just can’t make this stuff up.

Posted by Rose in Infertility, My Personal Journey on 15-02-2013

 Jul 21, 2011
Goin with the flo…Well I was due on Thursday of last week, but nothing came. We even took a pregnancy test, or as we call it now, a period summoner, to help things along. No luck – only because this time we actually were looking forward to it coming asap. Friday, nothing, Saturday, Sunday…nothing. Monday morning Gordon’s mom was heading back to work after a brief medical leave.

When I got up, there she was in all her glory – aunt Flo, that is. So, it begins. At this point, you can literally feel the panic and chaos settle like an early morning fog over a still November pond.

The first thing we had to do was call the doctor to get an appointment for the next day for a sonogram. Gordon called, because I can barely get through a brief polite conversation in Serbian – I’m nowhere near ready to make a phone call and survive it. First, before calling the doc, he would call his mom and let her know our ‘joy’.

I listened to his replies in Serbian, understanding enough of the words (helped along a bit by his body language and facial expression) to realize something wasn’t right. He motioned to me as he ‘o boze mama’d that she’d broken her leg.

I was dumstruck. Numbstruck? Dumbfounded. That’s the one.

So the Serbs have what seems to be a natural flair for drama – my husband not included (unless he’s facing a spider more than an eighth of an inch long hanging from the bathroom ceiling).
He got off the phone and called his brother, who said mama broke her toe.
Sooo then he said he was to meet her at the bus stop, which she’d reach soon. All this and he still needs to talk to the doctor, who he had called twice and was busy both times.

So I’m thinking no way she broke her leg and she’s taking a bus home from Belgrade. I wouldn’t even do that. She’s gotta either have just sprained her pinky toe, or she’s in a cab.

Turns out it’s almost a little of both.  She was in the cab, and hadn’t sprained her toe, but fractured a bone on the side of her foot. Unfortunately, she was also in a cast which she’d have to wear for a month.

Now we’re waiting for the doctor to return our call, because Gordon finally got through and she was with a patient.  As the cab pulls up to the front of the apartment building, I holding the phone and Gordon halfway between the front door and the car, the phone rings and I look at him with the ‘ne govorim srpski’ eyes and he comes back for the phone. I go to his mom and she’s really upset, and sitting with a big fat cast halfway up her calf. Poop.

We wait for him to get off the phone and come back to help her out of the car. The two of us help her hobble halfway to the front door and a young neighbor guy comes along and takes my place. They get her just inside the stan and she asks me to get the office chair with the wheels, and I do. They wheeled her to the living room and helped her plop into the armchair.

I decide, though I’m cramping pretty badly, that I don’t know wtf to do with myself, so I go start washing dishes. That is, until Gordon comes in and points to the floor and says, turn it off!! I look down and I’m standing in a small pool of water, coming from underneath the sink. I look underneath and see that the drain pipe has come undone and quickly shift it back into place to catch the few drops of water that hadn’t escaped.

Gordon starts laughing. I laugh, too. It’s all just too much and if we didn’t laugh we’d have to cry or go ballistic.

Since Gordon’s mom also likes to tell her dramatic stories over and over, she entertained herself with the phone for the next 2 hours while we sopped up water from the tile floor. We moved rolled up the rug underneath the table so it didn’t get wet.  Every pot under the sink was full of murky, nasty dishwater….thankfully, I guess, I hadn’t washed very much at all. It made me realize how much water we use when washing dishes. I used this as a teachable moment for my husband, who I’m always nagging at to turn off the water. He loves me anyway.

After most of the water was off the floor, I washed a load of dishes. I had to fight to do it, of course, because we’re always fighting each other to do things so the other doesn’t have to. I washed as much as I had hot water in the boiler above the sink.

Another weird thing about this country is that every bathtub has a boiler propped up and hanging from the ceiling to heat the bathwater that you better remember to turn off before you take a shower or you will have at least 2 people in the house freaking out about you showering without turning it off.  The other boiler is over the kitchen sink. Naturally we turn the boilers off before bed, or before going out…so in the morning, you wait for the bathwater to heat up (especially in winter), and you won’t do any dishes for an hour, at least. Not that anyone is doing dishes until long after coffee, anyway.

Anyway, after that load of dishes, I let my stubborn hubby continue cleaning, while I think I went to work for a bit. We have been working on a pretty big project that pays us pretty well. The employer is someone we worked with on a few other projects, and he asked me to run this project, so I was pretty attached to it.

After working and helping mama figure out how to get to the bathroom (Gordon pushed her on her makeshift wheelchair to the bathroom door and deposits her, where she holds on to the handle, the wall, the washer and finally plops onto the toilet), and getting her to bed, he decided to fix the crutches that the neighbor brought down for her to use, since they were too high and he really, really, really would benefit from her using them.

I helped him disassemble and reassemble them.  After working on that, she asked that he remove the rug that lines the hallway, so she could roll more easily to the bathroom (or more like, he could roll her more easily to the bathroom). So he did. He’s a saint. And I? I’m just silently impatient and slightly aggitated. It was 3am and we had to be up at 11 to leave for the doctors appointment.

Finally, we got to bed – only we slept with the door open so mama could call for help when she had to get up to use the bathroom through the night. Gordon barely got any solid sleep. I woke up at some point in the morning and had to go, but didn’t want to move because he was finally sleeping…besides, if I went and flushed, she’d surely hear and then have to go herself (I know I would).

Tuesday morning came and we got up and ready, amid helping mama up and around. I wasn’t looking forward to leaving her alone – the few times she tried the crutches, she’d get huffy and whip around and nearly fell every time. I was sure if we left her alone she WOULD break something strashno.

Thankfully, the neighbor came and kept her company while we were gone.

We have this driver who his mom was using and paid for several trips in advance for us, so that we wouldn’t have to take the bus to Belgrade in the dead heat of the summer – which was super of her. Now, I guess it’ll sound like I’m bitching about a gift, but I’m not – I do appreciate it, I just…Serbian drivers scare me.

There are lines on the road. There are signs. There are driving schools and there is surely a manual. Nobody follows any of them. Solid line and a bus in front of you in a 2 lane road on a bridge? Go around it as fast as you possibly can. Double points if you can do it with a bus heading at you, too. Curbs are not just for people. Parking spots are wherever your car will fit, as close to the door you’re entering as possible. Breaks are for sissies and lights are suggestions. Even if you have an air conditioner in the car, you prefer to open the windows – and even though it’s windy, it can’t paralyze you even though the oscillating fan in the bedroom will if it’s pointing right at you. The rules of promaja don’t apply, for what reasons I don’t understand. I wonder if there is a promaja handbook. Not that anyone would follow those rules, either.

Serbian GPS sounds pretty funny. Okrenite levo. I don’t see the harm in a machine being on a ‘ti’ basis with you – they should be sort of drug that way, I’d think. Anyway, we dodged a bunch of things but arrived in the same 2 pieces we left the apartment in, and went in for our appointment.

I had the ‘ne govorim…’ look and let my husband announce my arrival, while standing right next to him. It’s interesting that some people will look at me, intrigued, like a cute puppy who has much to learn that they want to interact with, while others look through me and have no desire to have anything to do with the amerikanka.

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