My first trip to the fertility clinic is a mixture of hope, gratitude and quiet desperation. The hope and gratitude are mine. I am so happy to be here and to have some help with this process. I feel grateful that there is a place I can come that will monitor my cycle and that will give me some guidance to make this happen. I am hopeful and happy. And feeling especially lucky since it is covered by our provincial health plan. I slowly realize that my feelings possibly place me in the minority.
There other energy in the clinic, the quiet desperation, is not mine. It is an energy that hangs over the waiting room. In addition to the fact that it is below street level, and so despite the windows, it is a little darker. It is also winter and since cycle monitoring happens between 7 and 9am, and because the earlier you arrive the earlier you can leave, it is also dark out.
No one looks at each other, I notice, and hardly anyone talks. The magazines are old. Most women are here alone. One or two are with partners – or so it seems. I wonder how many are like me – lesbian and under the radar. I feel alone and invisible, but it’s for a good cause I tell myself, so I keep my gratitude to myself and suck it up. I’m hoping I won’t be here long.
All of a sudden a woman comes in and sees a friend. They hug and chat animatedly. It is clear that they haven’t seen each other in a while. Sadly I learn that this is not because one of them got pregnant. What I hear next makes me stop. One of them says “I needed a break. I’m tired of feeling broken.” It makes my heart hurt, and I realize that the difference between me and many of the women here is that I’m here to get help not because I can’t get pregnant with my male partner even though we have been trying for a long time, but because I’m a lesbian and I want some assistance. I am just starting. I am not frustrated, desperate, sad, or feeling broken. I am hopeful, optimistic and grateful for the help. I hope I never know what these women feel like.
I make a mental note and send some love their way.