One thing you begin to notice when you’re seeing a reproductive endocrinologist is that your cycle is in sync with others. With the repeated months of attempts and failures, you see a lot of the same women over and over again. You wait together for your morning probing ultrasound in the same waiting room. You go downstairs to the lab for the hour long wait to have blood drawn to find out if you’re having an LH surge which signals that ovulation is near.
We’re all going through the same thing, and yet we never speak to each other. I’m guilty of it too. The closest I’ve ever come to speaking to another woman waiting at the RE office is when I had to stand outside the waiting room because there were no more seats left. A kind woman inside saw an empty seat and waved me to come in.
We did that silent “Thank you” and “You’re welcome” that you do across a crowded bar when you know your shout wouldn’t be heard over the awful music. But this was a completely silent waiting room. As soon as we were done, we didn’t make eye contact again.
And you know, we should all be buddies. We’re all dealing with the same thing here. I’m still in the process of using fertility drugs and timed intercourse- the least sexy type of sex known to humanity. Other women there are probably at the same stage. And still others might be ready for IUI or IVF. Either way, we’re all trying to accomplish the same goal- make a baby.
But how do you start the conversation?
“Oh, are you done with that six month old edition of OK magazine? Thanks, I can’t wait to read about how Kate Middleton announced her pregnancy even though she’s ready to give birth any day now. I’m Kristin, by the way. What are you in for?”
I guess we all know what the other one is going through. Even though our stories are individual with our own issues and hang ups when it comes to fertility, our stories are all the same too. We’re all here to make babies, and that’s not coming easily to any of us, or we wouldn’t be in the office. So maybe we don’t talk to each other because all we’d do is rehash what we’ve all already know.
Still, I wish it felt more like an exclusive club. You come into the waiting room, sign in on the clipboard and start jamming around a table filled with snacks while the music is pumping through the usually quiet room.
“Hell yeah, Tina! Give it up for us 28 to 30 day cyclers- woot woot! Turn that up, it’s my jam!”
“Girl, how the hell are you? Haven’t seen you since cycle day 10 back in March. How’s it hanging?”
“This is your last cycle before you and Mark take a break? Well I hear ya, lady. Me and the man are gonna do the same thing in October. Unless we get that sticky egg– what what!”
“You’re going the adoption route? Good for you! We’ll miss you here at Club Infertility. Tell Lindsay I said hi!”
I’m picturing the receptionist as DJ with big headphones slung around her neck, and her pearls swinging side to side in time with the music. Folks would be crushing up and snorting Clomid in the corners of the room. Black market thermometers, fertility supplements and copies of Taking Charge of your Fertility would be bought and sold in the bathroom. There would always be that one chick who claims she knows a guy who sells that one thing you haven’t tried yet, and she can get you in touch with him for the right price.
Well that will never happen I’m sure. And I guess when you’re all there at 7 AM, most of us aren’t even awake enough to speak coherent sentences, much less entire conversations. I suppose there never be a Club Infertility. But that’s what I’ll be thinking of next time I have to go in.
When I think of the words “cycling together” I always think of The Turtles song, “So Happy Together.” So I’ll leave you with this.
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