I am pregnant now, but that doesn't mean that the years of IF pain are suddenly gone. I think those scars might stick around for a very long time.
Yesterday, something happened at our IVF clinic that I am still in shock about. It is something that I honestly would not have believed if I hadn't seen in with my own eyes and heard it with my own ears. I have heard some pretty insensitive things over the course of the past two years, but yesterday's event takes the cake. I purposefully did not write about it yesterday, because I did not want to take any of the joy away from the excitement of our 8 week ultrasound. But now I have to share, because well, sharing is what this blog is all about.
Rewind to yesterday afternoon. As usual, my husband and I were more than a little nervous riding the elevator up to the 10th floor. We were shared the ride with a 30-something blond woman, who was holding a packet of our clinic's intake papers. We didn't share a word, but from those papers and the nervous expression on her face, I guessed that she was a first time patient.
We stepped off the elevator and into the reception area of our clinic. Now, let me paint the picture for you here. Our clinic does not have a large waiting area. It is shaped like an L, with the long part of the L running by the reception desk and the shorter end of the L is where the limited amounts of chairs and couches are. There has been more than one appointment where I could not find a seat in the waiting area. It's tiny.
So, when we pushed open the frosted glass doors, I was immediately assaulted by the sight of not one, but TWO sets of twins, one set looking about eighteen months or so, and the other set around a year. There was also a baby stroller, covered, so I am assuming that the infant inside was still pretty young. Now, there have been kids in the waiting room before, but never like this, where baby almost outnumbered adult.
My husband went to use the bathroom while I checked in. After speaking to the receptionist, I had to literally step around the toddling older twins. I paused to avoid stepping on the little girl and in doing so, stopped to admire both sets - after all, I'm not heartless, and I love children. The mom of the one year olds caught my admiring (and probably a bit wistful) glance and said in a loud, self-important tone, "This is what happens when I get pregnant."
To clarify, I asked her, "Did you get pregnant through this clinic."
She responded back in a perky (loud) voice, "No. These are natural. I had no problems getting pregnant."
"How lucky for you," I managed to choke out.
Okay, I will stop here to say:
#1: What the frick was she doing in the clinic waiting room anyway? She was obviously not a past patient. I decided to give her the benefit of the the doubt on this point. I thought maybe she was there as a surrogate or egg donor.
#2: The door CLEARLY states that this is a fertility clinic. And there are no other medical offices on this floor, so it's not likely that she accidentally got off on 10 and turned the wrong way. No, she knew she was in a fertility clinic. Why would you ever loudly proclaim your fertility for an entire room of obviously fertility-challenged men and women?
#3: Don't even get me started on the whole natural thing. Is my pregnancy unnatural in some way? Is my baby less natural than her baby?
If the story ended there, I guess you could say that I asked for it. I stopped to admire the babies, I made the (stupid) mistake of asking her about her children. Fair enough, I deserved what I got.
But the story doesn't end there.
I went and found a seat in the crowded room. As usual, the other women and I exchanged those surreptitious glances, wondering what the other is "in for," but not breaking the barrier of silence and pain. I noticed the blond sitting down on the other side of the room, looking painfully over at the twins when she thought no one was looking. Her naked envy was hard to watch, especially because I am fairly certain that my face held that same look.
My husband joined me a minute later, having missed my "natural" conversation with the twin mom. For the next ten minutes, we nervously waited our turn to be called back, trying to think happy thoughts. During this time, we were subjected to various comments from the fertile such as, "Oh, my children are my life. Don't you wonder how you ever lived without yours?" And of course the inevitable, "We were blessed with the twins, but we don't want any more children. So, now I have to be on the pill again. Those hormones make me crazy!"
Now, to be fair, the mom of the other children kept her tone low and almost seemed embarrassed as they continued their conversation. But continue it they did. Finally, I noticed the woman seemed to be preparing to leave. I started to breathe a sigh of relief when she did the unthinkable.
She cleared her throat and made an announcement to the entire room:
"Good luck, everybody. Maybe you'll end up with twins [Gestures to her children], or triplets, or even quadruplets! Or maybe you won't. Either way, God only gives you what you can handle. And maybe you just aren't meant to have kids!"
And then she left. Finally.
Leaving everyone open mouthed, looking at each other in disbelief. The blond lady finally said aloud, "I guess she's right. God must not give me more than I can handle, because she finally LEFT!"
We were called back right at that very minute, but I was still fuming, still am angry a day later. I know, I know, she probably thought that she was being nice. And you have to look at a person's intent, blah, blah, blah. You know what, though, sometimes ignorance is not an excuse.
Okay, I feel better.