Our first OB appointment was yesterday! I went in thinking that we would walk out having heard the heartbeat (check...162 BPM), get a beautiful new image (check...9 pics) and have an overload of information (check...not overload, but definitely a big folder full).
But, it was stranger than I thought it would be sitting in the waiting room. It was bright with big windows, there were small children playing on the floor, there was music and smiling women with big bellies and warm smiles from everyone from the receptionist to the nurses to the doctors. I couldn't help but compare it to the waiting room at my RE's office. I realized that there were no windows in that waiting room, there was no music, there was barely any eye contact, even from the receptionist and the tone of voice of the nurses was much more dry and flat.
Sitting in this new, foreign waiting room, I felt relieved and slightly uncomfortable. Like I finally got invited to the party, but I was still standing up against the wall. It also made me want to stand up in the middle of the room and ask if anyone else was an IF'er. If anyone else was like me, still feeling like I didn't quite fit in. Like I belonged back in the quiet waiting room, keeping my smiles to myself, waiting in the silence to hear my name being called while hiding behind a magazine.
When my name got called for this ultrasound, I jumped up and asked if we could wait a few more minutes for C, who left work early to meet me. They smiled and agreed right away (again, so different from the patient conveyor belt feel of the RE's office). It took less than a minute before C walked in and I jumped up like a little kid and said maybe a bit too loud, "He's here!" I felt like I was quickly informing the waiting room that it was my very first time.
We went in to the ultrasound room and it was warm and inviting. Beautiful hardwood floors and soft artwork on the walls. I immediately flashed back to the RE's ultrasound room, the stark walls with the florescent lighting, the "uplifting" poster hung half-heartedly from one of the ceiling tiles. The chine.se conception chart taped to the cabinet door, edges curling from age right next to the pricing list of fertility drugs from the local pharmacy.
C held my hand while I laid on the table, feet in the stirrups and lights dim. We saw legs and arms on a beautiful body and a sweet round head and there was a quick moment where we got a wave. A wave. From deep inside my uterus. This little baby, the size of a big green grape, waved its little arm and C grabbed my hand a little tighter. I flashed again, back to the other table and stirrups I spent so much time in, the times C held my hand while the RE looked for cysts and mature follicles and the times that he looked and my uterus was empty.
Finally, we met the doctor. She is short and bright, and came into the room like a light whose eyes and smile said, "You belong." She had read my file before she met me. I came in expecting to have to tell her my whole story, but all she did was confirm a few details and tell me that things were perfect. Perfect. That is a word I have waited 6 years to hear. Finally something was right. It wasn't a shrug, or a "it's different for everybody" or the guessing and trying new things game that is IF sometimes. We got past the unexplained infertility part of our diagnosis. The thing that has defined our family of two for almost as long as C and I have been together. I am a pregnant woman. But, I am still that wide-eyed patient that first walked into a fertility office 6 years ago, and one who walked into a new fertility office a year and a half ago, someone who should be an honorary cowgirl for all the time I have spent in stirrups.
I started blogging just before my first IVF. I was overwhelmed with the emotion of it all and needed an outlet that was more than my mom and friends who could only sympathize and not truly understand (no matter how much they tried). At certain points it was easy to be happy for the happy blogs, the ones who were getting BFPs and delivering babies. It was during the times when I felt hopeful and strong. But, sometimes it wasn't possible to even click over to a blog that might be happy, it was too hard to read and impossible to comment. Sometimes it was too much to even log on at all. The times the tears came down so hard that I couldn't see past my eyelashes.
I know this is starting to turn into a different blog, one that talks too much about food (I'll put up that BLT taco recipe in my next post I promise) and nausea. I won't be complaining about Crin.one suppositories anymore, now that today was my last one and the stories of REs and shots are slowing turning into stories about OBs and heartbeats. I'm treading lightly into this new world. I am thoroughly enjoying this new person I am becoming. I love her and I feel confident in my body and my mind for the first time in a long time.
I get it though. I know when a happy blog is impossible to read. I understand. I will never, ever forget what a BFN feels like, especially when it happens over and over again. I have peed on more than my share of sticks, taken my temperature when all I want to do is jump out of bed and go to the bathroom, sat across from doctors who shrugged, climbed into stirrups and waited. Waited. Waited. Waited. Cried. Felt hope that was dashed. Cried. Curled up next to my hubby and cried. Cried the tears of a lost dream and the path that felt impossible. I stood at the bottom of the mountain of drugs and needles and said, "I can't do this."
But, I did. I could. And I did. There are no words to describe how the support from this community pulled me up and pushed me through. I am forever a part of this community and I will continue to lift others up as I was lifted.