I have just finished a photo shoot, something else I have never done before, but recently accepted as part of my "self awareness/maturing" process.
With my hair done and makeup still on, sporting high heels and a smart dress, I ascend to the 10th floor of a Manhattan high-rise in a desirable neighborhood to the lobby of fertility heaven.
My first shock comes when I notice that the majority of the patients in the waiting room have their partner with them. I'm handed a questionnaire that everyone else seems to have filled out at home. I stare at it, thinking to myself that I have no time to answer the endless questions that would require the presence of my husband. The thought crosses my mind that my husband barely remembers I'm doing this... he's somewhere on the other side of the world. I can't even reach him via phone.
I remind myself that priorities in here are quite basic: If you want a child, than everything else can wait...
I look around and I am aware of not exactly fitting the profile of the average person in the room. I have my wedding band and my engagement ring on. I look young, wealthy, calm and healthy, but I do not have my husband next to me and I'm leaving half of the questionnaire blank.
The room is full of couples, mainly Jewish Orthodox ones, and single Asian women and young caucasian men. It's likely some of the single men and women are donors, I think, while the others are couples eager to have children.
There are no light magazines to read like when you go to a nail salon, and the waiting area is quite crowded. Desperate to distract myself, I find a pamphlet on single motherhood that covers everything from adoption to IVF with donor sperm, but as a married woman, only half of it really applies to me.
I find another pamphlet on fertility yoga. I don't think I have fertility problem for now, but until I go through all of the exams ahead, who knows? I pick up another one on the services offered by the center for couples dealing with infertility but this, too, doesn't necessarily apply to me...
I realize how little I know about what's going on in my body. Am I fertile? Will I need to go through the extensive treatments described in the pamphlets that surround me? I feel like none of them speak to my situation. For now, I'm a "special" case, a new breed of woman... in a relationship and likely fertile, but freezing my eggs until the time feels right to have children. I'm not ready to be a mother, but I do not want to wake up one day and regret having played or let someone else play with my right to motherhood.
Someone calls my name and I rise to meet her.
To see the first post in the series, click here.