Next Wednesday Nik and I will be going in for a consult with a fertility specialist.
We don't really know what to expect, probably just some questions and setting up more appointments for tests, maybe some recommendations and fact sheets. We've already had to fill out our medical histories online and we know it's only scheduled for half an hour.
But as any infertility blog or forum will tell you, going to the clinic is an experience in and of itself.
How many blogs have I read detailing a person's experience in the waiting room? How many forum posts about nurses and receptionists and insurance snafus?
It's like a right of passage, that awkward, uncomfortable, possibly gut wrenching first visit to an RE.
Reading other's experiences I hear hope and excitement, and fear and embarrassment, and sorrow and frustration, and all possibly from one person in one meeting.
I read about judgmental eyes, long silences, and an air of desperation.
And I'm so, so nervous.
But the big emotion I'm feeling, other than nervous and anxious and a little curious, is guilt.
I feel guilty.
I feel like a cheater.
I'm a young, healthy, possibly fertile young mother walking into a room of infertile women only a few short days after Mother's Day.
And the kicker?
Right after my appointment I get to rush home and pick up my toddler, where he'll be playing with his beloved Gambi, and whisk him off to my older son's preschool to attend their Mother's Day brunch.
That's right, I'll be sitting there surrounded by people wishing to be mothers and then just a short hour after I leave the building I'll be receiving Mother's Day gifts as I sit beside an excited little boy, happy to show off his creations, holding a toddler on my lap as he gobbles down Goldfish and grapes.
And as happy as I am about this, I feel somewhat dirty, somewhat false.
Do I really belong there?
Short answer, of course, is yes. If we want to attempt a pregnancy, and we do, then we will need help. Oh, sure, we could try it with acupuncture and herbs, and we likely will, but we'd love it if we could have a few tests run first to figure out if there's anything majorly wrong (and potentially correctable) before we get into the ups and downs of TTC.
So, yes, we belong there.
And yet we don't belong anymore.
We were never completely destroyed by IF. We were knocked down, but not out. We only had a 25 month wait from when we started TTC to when we actually became parents, and though that seems like a long time on paper in IF terms it was hardly anything. We were successful in our efforts to adopt our first two children and we're coming at this from the angle of a family, a happy family, looking to add on. We're not desperate, at least not yet.
And from what I'm seeing, it looks like we'll be the odd ones out.
Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe there won't be any tension in the air. Maybe the waiting room will be empty, or maybe the only other people in there will be totally at peace with their lives. Perhaps another person will be there with a small child and, if there are no ears around to be offended, we can chat about toddler-hood and potty training.
Or perhaps the whole experience, all 5-10 minutes of sitting there, will be enough to scare us off forever.
Guess we won't know until next week....
Lily in a loafing barn
8 months ago