That was me, just then. I cannot stop yawning. I have been so incredibly tired. I could sleep all day, almost.

I’m back from my early morning scan appointment, and it appears that things are pretty unremarkable. I had two 6 to 7 mm follicles on my left ovary and about 4 less than six, and then three or four 6 to 7 mm follicles on the right, plus four to six more under 6 mm follicles on the right. Good ol’ righty, slut that she is, just putting it out there for any old follicle-stimulating drug that comes along…

Anyhow, just unremarkable at this point, apparently neither over nor under stimulating. I guess that’s good. I’ll know more later once they get my E2 numbers back as far as any dosage changes and when my next appointment will be. So for now, not much for me to worry about (knocking wood that my E2 numbers are in range, of course.).

The fellow patrons in my clinic continue to baffle me. I realize that there is no “normal” infertile, and I don’t know exactly what I was expecting, but it seems that every time I cross paths with other people in the clinic, in some way, they fall outside of whatever random stereotype I seem to have in my head for “infertile”. Which is weird, because I didn’t even know that I had a stereotype “infertile” in my head.

This morning, I walked into the clinic and there was a woman in her 60s sitting reading a magazine (cue confused look), which only started to make sense when a woman who appeared to be in her teens (but maybe early 20s) sat down next to her and called her “mom”. And then when the nurse called her back to the exam room, she asked if it was okay for her “mommy” to come with her. I don’t know why I found that weird. Maybe it’s that “mommy” is such a juvenile word, one that adults don’t typically use. Or maybe that’s just me and my issues with my mother, or the fact that I couldn’t imagine a scenario in which I would allow my mother within 100 ft of my bare vagina, but somehow the whole thing seemed really weird.

And the time when H and I were there for the pre-stim scan (where they discovered the Effin’ Cyst), the office was being patronized by eight-foot-tall stick-figure 40-year-old former model types, but then when I went for my Effin’ Cyst aspiration, I was surrounded by women with serious, substantial weight issues (as said by someone who thought she wasn’t that fat when she weighed over 260 lbs, so when I say substantial, I mean SUBSTANTIAL, like the one who was out of breath from the effort of standing up and walking the five feet from the waiting room to the check-in desk).

But today, after Haylee (the teen/20-ish year old, and yes, that is how she spelled her name, as I overheard her spelling it for the check-in nurse…) was called back, hers and her mother’s seats were taken by another couple, older, and of whom the gentleman was an obnoxious loudmouth who also had a serious respiratory infection (thanks!). I heard all about how he had only brought one check with him, and could he pay the fees for both the clinic and hospital on the same check (no). And how he had “done it” at home as he held up the paper bag and rattled it loudly at the lab worker who came out to retrieve his sample. And how, Oh, MAN, he couldn’t stop SNIFFLING, isn’t this weird, Paula, I can’t stop sniffling! I started to pick up the Kleenex box and chunk it at him, but I decided that would be a very hormone-induced-moody-style thing, and that I should let the thought pass without taking action (though it was hard to do in the moment…).

Anyhow, maybe it’s the internet’s fault, because I have known so many women in their early/mid-thirties pursuing various reproductive services, but it just baffles me that I never see women at my clinic that appear to be remotely my age, or who seem to be of moderate weight or moderate height. It’s all extremes- very “old” (reproductively, that is), very young, very fat, very thin. I don’t know. Maybe the “very thin” set look at me and think, “Fatso!”, but regardless, it is weird to me to look at the faces of these women and not see my own reflected back at me, not even a little.

But who knows? Maybe these women are seeing me and thinking the same thing. Maybe there’s just a diversity of women in this clinic, and maybe they cross my path and feel alienated by my appearance. I know the RE’s waiting room is a difficult place for all of us. Some people react by acting like obnoxious loudmouths, “Excuse me, Mr. Jones? I’m Linda. From the lab?” “WHY HELLO, LINDA-FROM-THE-LAB!!!! GOT MY SAMPLE ALL READY FOR YOU!!!” And some people react by flaunting their “free” one. And some react by getting impatient when your name is called before theirs [that happened early on. The woman actually stopped the nurse and said that she had been waiting a really long time (though I had been waiting longer), and that her appointment was for FIF! TEEN! MINUTES! AGO!… Oh, really? Mine was for half an hour ago, so CHILL…], and some react by having inane conversations with their partners (“this woman, at So-And-So’s daycare? I saw her after work on Friday at a bar! And she was drinking! I will NEVER send our child to XX daycare center! Unbelievable!”– direct quote…).

And I? I apparently react by reading a magazine while silently judging everyone, recording it all faithfully so I can bring it here and share it with all of you, tsk-ing in my head the whole time about how incredibly defensive this process can make us, fantasizing about throwing things at people (you know, helpful things, like Kleenexes for the drippy nosed man who apparently doesn’t know what they are used for), wondering what it is about this office that brings out the extraordinarily abnormal behaviors in almost everyone who goes here.

Ah, well. At least it makes for good stories, I suppose.

So that’s where I’m at. Waiting for the call from the nurse to let me know what’s up with tonight’s dosage, and when I get to go back for another dildo-cam appointment, and when I *might* expect to be looking at a tentative retrieval date. And judging all of my fellow, innocent infertile patients at the local clinic.

What was your RE office experience like (if you’ve had one, that is)? Were the people “normal”? Do you have some picture in your head of what an average infertile person looks like? Do you see yourself in the other patients? If you haven’t been to the RE, do you ever find yourself in situations where you feel like maybe you don’t belong, even though you know you do?


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11 Responses to *yawn*

  1. Tracy says:

    I think most of the patients I saw at our RE's office were pretty stereotypical…a lot like us. I don't recall seeing any that made me go, hmmm….Good luck with your E2 numbers. I'm watching you closely! 🙂

  2. Sue says:

    One of my best friends went with me to two of my egg retrievals and I always hoped the other patients would think we were a lesbian couple. On the other hand, if I saw two women together in the waiting room, I always wondered if it might be an egg donor accompanied by a friend.

  3. jill says:

    Good stories indeed!Hoping for good E2 numbers, sounds like things are going well so far!I only ever saw "average" people at my fertility clinic – ages in the mid 20s to mid 30s, man and wife couples, etc. I actually felt kind of out of place because there were so many couples and I always went alone.I think you should bring a small camera and start documenting all these weirdos for us 😉

  4. Moky says:

    Usually they are late twenties, early thirties with the odd hugely obese or dangerously thin thrown in. I'm pretty sure there was a lesbian couple there the other day and this morning I think I saw a couple with their surrogate. That one was surprising, the couple looked like they were in their early fifties. Donated emryos maybe? Anyway, I don't think I had a stereotype in mind, although I do catch myself thinking "she looks so normal, I wonder why she's here?". As though, if you had endometriosis, it would show or something.

  5. Moky says:

    I meant embryos. I have a band-aid on my finger, it's hard to type.

  6. The women I saw were all pretty typical like me. So HOT, FUNNY and generally COOL. : )

  7. Though, I wouldn't have noticed-b/c I was always looking for signs that any men had just given a 'sample.' Because the idea is so funny. And I knew when k did it was obvious–well to me. He got all red-faced. Yes, I am a five year old. I hope your numbers are good!

  8. loribeth says:

    It's been awhile since I've been in a clinic, but I can remember a few people in the waiting room that dh & I talked about. One was a South Asian couple who had their mother/MIL with them. We think WE have pressures to procreate… I can't imagine the pressures some women from other cultures must be under. I actually recognized one woman in the waiting room as someone I'd known casually at work, & another woman was giving another woman her business card one day & I realized SHE worked for my company too, so we had coffee together once. I talked to other women in the lineup for ultrasounds, & I was impressed/mindboggled by how far some of them had travelled (e.g., Niagara Falls, which is 1.5-2 hours, depending on traffic). Another couple had come in from Sudbury, which is probably about a six-hour drive north. People who live in larger centres tend to take so much for granted.

  9. My clinic waiting room was a haven for weird people, too. There were other couples like us, but because it wasn't a strictly fertility clinic, I often had a really good time making up back stories for the characters I saw there. Maybe you remember my post from ages ago with the guy who kept talking about karaoke and how awesome he was at it, and how his collection of karaoke music just simply RAWKED! Seriously, there were some very odd moments. And silently judging and reporting back on it all makes for excellent reading, so keep it up!

  10. Have I got some stories….Kaiser decided to shut down thier infertility dept a month before I started treatments in 07/2007 so I got to travel 25 miles (in CA that is the equivelent of an hour in traffic) and would sit in a waiting room that was filled with the following A) Very pregnant peopleB) People wanting to be very pregnant.C) A very small group bringing all of thier children (usually 3) including thier new baby for thier after delivery check up Talk about poor planning? Who thought of lumping those groups together?!?!? I can distinctly remember commenting about this repeatedely with no real response or empathy. VERY FRUSTRATING.Hang in there Kate!

  11. Kait says:

    Those are some insane characters you're writing about. You could start a sitcom that totally takes place in an RE's office and waiting room. It would be amazing, and bring awareness to the cause! Kait @ esperanzasays.wordpress.com

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