Yesterday I had to take my dad to the hospital where I started all my infertility treatments. I had not been there in nearly four years. My dad asked me if I knew where the parking garage was. Unfortunately, yes. I drove to that hospital, entered that garage, grabbed my ticket, fought for a parking spot, walked down the steps, through the elevators, and down the long hall to the fertility center way too many times. Sometimes I was there 3 times a week.
There were times I went there filled with hope because we were starting an IUI or gearing up for IVF. But for the most part entering that hospital deflated my soul and brought on a huge wave of sadness. Either I was dreading the painful blood draws or uncomfortable ultrasounds or waiting to hear bad news. There was rarely anything good that came from my visits to that fertility clinic.
I walked down to the lobby where the coffee and bagels are served and remembered sitting in those chairs with AJ waiting for the second half of the IUI or the transfer to happen after IVF. Sitting in that lobby was the only time we were there for something positive to happen. Maybe this time it would work.
I have no idea how many times I went to that hospital over the course of 2 1/2 years; it could be 100. Being there was always a reminder that I could not get pregnant. Often I would see women being wheeled out with their beautiful babies. My already fragile heart took another hit. My average visit there was 45 minutes long. Think about all that time I can never get back. Most times when I left an appointment I already had another one scheduled. My life was bound up in infertility, strangled by the unpredictable schedule of when my body would be ready for an IUI or IVF.
No we cannot go on that weekend getaway, sorry. We have something going on.
I can't make your rehearsal dinner because my body is so bloated an uncomfortable that I can't wear anything but sweatpants.
So and so's baby shower? Uh, I have to work that afternoon.
After my ectopic pregnancy was discovered that hospital became a black hole. It took over 2 months for my pregnancy to fully terminate. I was rushed there one afternoon in excruciating pain fearing I would have to have surgery to lose my tube. My mother drove me and AJ met us there. It was at that time I realized I was done. Something had to change. Mentally and physically that hospital would never provide me with the dream I so longed for.
There will always be some places, some people that invoke memories that are extremely painful. This is the stamp infertility has placed on my life. It is almost like a brand. A painful brand of lost dreams, life changing pain, and soul searching I never thought I would face.
Most times when I had an appointment I had to go alone. Being alone in infertility is probably one of the worst parts. There was always a waiting room full of hopeful women or sometimes already-moms and their toddlers potentially hoping for another child. But I never found comfort in my infertility comrades because I did not want to be there.
I'm sure none of them did either. We were all alone but together in our plight to pummel infertility and live out our dreams.