While I’m waiting, I like to people watch. I see women coming in for the first time, the infertility veterans; those who are pregnant, those who are not pregnant; women with medical issues, women with unexplained infertility; women coming in for u/s monitoring, women coming in for transfers, women coming in for bloodwork; men with ‘sample’ cups disguised in paper bags; men passing straight thru to the ‘room’ with an empty cup. So many people with so many different situations, each with a common goal.
The consult waiting area is a difficult place. I’ve been there. It’s the place where women sit after they’ve gotten a good scan, but it is also the place where hearts are newly broken.
Sitting in the main waiting room, I can see the joy and the sorrow on the faces as they round the hallway to the consult waiting area. Sometimes, I can hear the conversations (even though I don’t mean to). Mostly, I see faces… happy and sad…. rarely in between.
On Monday, I saw a woman turn the corner and was handed an u/s picture of her pregnancy. She had just had the u/s of her life. She beamed. The ladies who staff the front desk were exuberant, and cheered quietly and giggled. Hugs were exchanged with the medical staff. The woman, who was alone in the office… skipped though the main waiting room. She pulled out her cell phone, and as I watched her exit and walk to her car, I could see she was calling a loved one with the BIG news. The best news e-v-e-r.
Moments later, I saw the faces of sorrow I know all too well. A couple who had received bad news turned the corner and sat in the consult waiting area. The staff who just five minutes earlier were estactic, were silent. There were pats on the back, nodding, tears, and a hasty exit to the consultation room. One of the nurses in the reception area opened a closet FULL of tissue boxes, grabbed one, and slid it into a hand extending from the room.
Just then I caught the eye of a woman sitting next to me and we just looked at each other with that look of ‘knowing’. She had a tear in her eye. So did I.
Neither of us knew either of these women, but the emotions……we know them all too well.
Then we started chatting…. the standard infertile drill down…. “how long have you been trying, what’s your status” conversation. Except we spoke like we were in church or the library. Whispers. Never mind we were the only two people remaining in the waiting room.
She said she was here for her second u/s (she’s pregnant after her third IVF attempt, and 7 years of infertility). I wished her good luck. And she reciprocated, “Keep the faith”. Just then they called her back and the last thing I heard her say (to herself) was “ok, deep breaths“. She sighed and walked away and disappeared into an exam room.
I went into the lab for my blood draw and I purposefully chatted with the nurse for awhile hoping I might see this woman come out. I didn’t, but what I did see was the nurse come out of the exam room skipping down the corridor to the copy machine. Speaking to the nurse at the desk, with u/s picture in hand, “Now those are two beautiful babies.” And the staff huddled around the u/s like it was their own. Laughing and giggling.
I have to imagine my new friend had a pretty good day in the consult waiting room.
How I long for a day like that…