September 19, 2018
I knew something wasn’t right. I knew this wasn’t a straightforward case of impatience or me trying to control the uncontrollable. By the strong encouragement of Ethan’s parents, we decided, at this juncture, it didn’t make a difference if we turned the six-month follow-up instruction into a four-month follow-up. We are entitled to find out what’s happening, or rather, what’s not happening within our own bodies.
I was not hopeful sitting in the waiting room. I felt like everyone there could see a label reading “INFERTILE” on my forehead. Ethan leaned over a few minutes into waiting and said, “You look shut off.”
Entering the patient room, Ethan and I both pause because we’re unsure who should sit in the chair and who should sit on the examination table. This is an appointment for both of us, after all. However, it is a gynecologist’s office, and I am the one with a vagina, so I reluctantly hop on the table.
The vibe of the doctor was frustration. She was annoyed to be seeing me in her office again. Her smile was strategically situated on her mouth, like the one an adult has on their face when eating fake food at a pretend tea party with a 3-year-old. When she asked what brought us in today, I took a quick, deep breath and said, “After another four months of no result, I think we’d officially like to begin the next step in fertility treatments, whatever that looks like. We’re ready to get this show on the road.” She closed her eyes, let out a deep breath, and kept pressing that tiny smile on her lips. “I can tell that you are a goal oriented person. It feels bad when you can’t meet goals on your own timeline, I’m sure, but you need to relax and be patient.”
I get that I’m only 22, and she’s probably wondering why we even want children this early in life. But she’s not thinking about how we’ve been married for five years and how we’ve been trying to have a baby for 30 months.
They say the only thing holding you back from happiness is yourself. But today, it felt like the only thing holding me back from happiness was this doctor and her refusal to come up with a treatment plan or to refer me to someone who would.
I felt hollow getting into the car leaving the hospital. Before driving away, Ethan asks, “How many of these appointments are we going to sit through only to leave still holding a question mark?”
He rubs his forehead with his left palm, keeping the other hand on the gear shift in our aging yet ever reliable Mazda3. “What if this is one of those problems that doesn’t need to be fixed. What if we learned to live with this so we can move on?”
What if our only chance at happiness under this circumstance was to stop wanting what we can’t have?
Liv – Authentically