I’m waiting in the sterile no-scent room of a reproductive clinic where chubby-cheeked babies with expectant glistening eyes stare back at me from framed photos on the wall. Everywhere I look, happy newborns and toddlers are dangled in front of me in a carnival-like atmosphere as if they were a prize I could win if I followed the rules of the game. The truth is: I already haven’t followed the rules. So, would a bouncy, blue-or-pink-clothed bundle of drooling joy escape me for the rest of my days? Secretly, I hoped not. Publicly, I told my friends and family it didn’t matter.
“He’ll see you now,” the receptionist says to me.
I enter the doctor’s office and settle into a chair on the opposite side of a grand mahogany desk. Odd to me sometimes, how the medical profession is set up that the Doctor sits over there, I sit over here, and together, we’re expected to come up with a plan to fix my problem. Yet, right from the start, I don’t feel we’re playing on the same team.
Bespectacled doc flips through his notes and says, “We have several problems. Your fallopian tubes are blocked and you’re not ovulating. We can attempt hormone therapy. But you’re not a good candidate for in vitro fertilization given your age and other problems.”
His words cut me.
Smiling, I nod, and say, “That’s alright. I didn’t want to go to extreme measures. If it happens, that’s great. If it doesn’t, well, my fiancé and I, we tried.”
He closes the file in front of him and folds his hands over the folder. “Listen,” he curtly says. “Given your age, you’re close to the end of the time when I’m permitted to help you. It sounds like you don’t care, either way. So, if you’re not committed to this, why should I invest any more time?”
My mouth gapes and my cheeks burn. I slowly say, “Uh…well…Antonio wanted to see if it was a possibility. He would like children.”
The Doctor snivels at me and says, “That’s your fiancé?”
I nod my head. I’ve lost my ability to respond with words.
“Well,” he says. “I suggest you give him the information that I shared with you today. If he still wants children, maybe you guys should think about parting ways.”
I begin to nod my head as I gather my coat and purse. “Thank you for your time,” I manage to say as I slowly reach for the door. As I stride out of the office I gather more speed, and when I’m out of the building I run across the parking lot towards my car with tears streaming down my cheeks.
I’m embarrassed that I even tried to seek out professional help—and angry that the Doctor never asked me why I didn’t try to have children sooner.