If you’ve never sat in the waiting room of a fertility clinic, let me just tell you – it’s miserable. The tension is thick; you could cut it with a knife.
In the corner, a nervous wife (or girlfriend, or woman of some sort) chats incessantly with her spouse/partner/sister/mother while said “other” just nods – nearly comatose by the nonsense said woman is spewing. The rest of the room is silent; eyes darting back and forth – not making eye contact with any of the other women there – for fear that you might all start crying at once.
It’s early, so you are tired. The television is turned to something relatively innocuous – like the History Channel – and you are learning about Jack the Ripper or about Atilla the Hun or the settlers that disappeared 3 years after forming the Roanoke Settlement in what’s now known as North Carolina.
You wait for your name to be called – because, while you got there at 7:05 (they open at 7), there are 15 other women who must have arrived at 6:59 and are waiting to be a pin-cushion just like you. You sit….and you sit….and you sit. And all the while you are both filled with hope and with gloom, just like you assume people would feel at a cancer clinic.
What’s interesting is that while I sat there this morning, I couldn’t help but think of the contrast between what I felt at that moment and what I felt when sitting at my OBGYNs office – mostly because you don’t see the preggos….you just see those of us who want to become a preggo; which I guess is both better and worse.
At least it’s not so in your face “I’m so happy because I’m about to have what you cannot”. But at the same time, the sense of depression is palpable and the sadness/anxiety/worry/fear is unparalleled.
After what feels like an eternity, they call your name, draw your blood – again – and hand you back your papers. You go back downstairs to the main reception area and wait another 20 minutes to be seen for your ultrasound.
Again, you avoid making eye contact, lest you start to cry – or at least that’s what I felt like. You see the “first timers” come in with their spouse or partner, excited that these doctors will be able to work their magic. You sit there alone – not because your husband won’t come with you, but because you know its not necessary. He can’t fix you. He can’t change your sadness. He can’t do anything so why make him miss work?
When you finally go into the room, you strip down, you get probed and then you are sent on your way – with a chirpy “looks good to go, unless the bloodwork….” Blah blah blah.
And again, you begin to feel hopeful….until your phone rings and they tell you that you are needed for another test, “can you come in next week?”
And so, now I find myself filled with fear, anxiety, sadness, longing and anger. And buried all the way under all of that, maybe just a little hope.