The Waiting Room

(Head over to the Stirrup Queens if you’d like to read more of today’s #MicroblogMonday posts.)

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The waiting room at my OB’s office has one door on the right and one on the left. Whenever I come in for an appointment, I am first called in through the door on the right, where I have a quick ultrasound and am given a little packet of photos before being sent back out to await being called back to meet with my doctor through the door on the left.

Each time this has happened, I’ve been a bit unsure of what to do with my ultrasound photos while I wait. I want to pore over them right away, examining every precious detail with my husband, but I am in the middle of a room full of women who are at that same office for, I imagine, very different reasons; I don’t want to flaunt my happiness in front of anyone who might be hurting. To be more sensitive, I could simply slip them inside my purse and save them for later, but I don’t want them to get wrinkled or torn.

So, I usually glance over the photos briefly and then hold them quietly in my lap. I love seeing those grainy images of our new little person, and I love receiving a reassurance at each appointment that s/he is growing and healthy. OB offices haven’t always been such an easy place for me to sit, though, and I can’t help but think that those two doors must have witnessed some of the highest of highs and the lowest of lows over the years, with hearts full of emotion hidden behind the still faces of so many who sit and wait in that room.

Updates

Well, it’s been awhile since I posted on this little corner of the internet. I’ve had plenty to say and didn’t mean to completely disappear, but I have been running in survival mode for the past couple of months and just haven’t had the energy. Between the constant nausea, vomiting, and fatigue, I’ve been putting any energy I do have into simply keeping my head above water at work and school.

It’s been really difficult physically, but I’m happy (and relieved) to say that I’ll be 14 weeks tomorrow and have made it through the first trimester! Over the past two weeks, I have been having more clear days when the fog seems to lift and I feel that I can actually function once again, but the morning sickness hasn’t ended yet and other days have still been pretty darn miserable. Now that I’m a bit farther along, though, I feel like there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and it definitely has gotten a little easier.

The fact that I am pregnant is still so surreal to me. After so many months of trying, I almost forget sometimes that this is really happening and that there really is a little human being growing inside of me. I have my ultrasound photos up on the wall next to my mirror in my bedroom, and seeing them everyday helps me keep things in perspective as a constant reminder that suffering through all of the unpleasant symptoms really will be worth it in the end and that this is exactly what I have wanted for so long.

We have told quite a few people at this point, and that also helps make it seem a little more real. Telling people has been an interesting experience all on its own, though. One common response has been to remark on how perfect the timing is – and this has come both from those who had no idea that we had been struggling for so long and from a few that did know.

I definitely agree that the timing is convenient, so I can see why those who didn’t know our story might think that we planned things this way. I suppose it makes sense to them since I am finishing up school this spring and summer, so it will be easy to take time off when the baby comes in the fall. It makes me laugh, though, to think that they are commending me for my great family planning skills, as though I had any say in the matter.

And, from perhaps a more cynical perspective, these comments make me cringe inside because I certainly feel that the timing of this pregnancy would have been so much more perfect and convenient two and a half years ago. It’s especially hard to hear this from those who knew our struggles, because in a way it almost seems as though they are dismissing everything that we went through while trying to get pregnant.

Yes, I am overjoyed to be expecting and to not be going through the excruciating heartaches of infertility any longer. Yes, I am beyond grateful that I did not have to spend more money or go through more invasive treatments in order to conceive. However, our past experiences haven’t just evaporated since we finally are on our way to having a baby. Infertility became a part of me over those long years. It changed me, and its shadows still impact me. I think they always will.

In a way, I suppose I am grateful for that. I know that I will forever be more sensitive to those struggling, and I am glad that my experience will allow me to be more aware and thoughtful as I become a mother. I don’t know that I will ever say I am grateful that I went through infertility or that I’m so glad things worked out the way they did these past few years, but I can at least acknowledge that I have learned and, hopefully, will have something more to offer as a result.