Good evening, baby.

Today I went to do my last baseline ultrasound and bloodwork appointment. At least at this clinic. Your father and I are moving next month (location TBD, still), and we know we can only do one more round.

All of our hope in one more round. If this does not work, we’ll have some tough decisions ahead of us.

When I first started this process, it was always so nerve wracking to make appointments at the clinic. The early morning slots fill up quickly, and if I couldn’t get one, I would have to go about trying to reschedule clients, which I hated doing. Now, though, not much occupies my schedule. When I called Thursday to schedule a Friday appointment, it didn’t matter that most of the morning was booked. I had the day off and could take whatever available. That should be a good thing, but my flexibility reminds me of what I do not have.

The clinic was busy this morning, and I waited 20 or so minutes before my name was called. I tried to focus on the book that I brought. Most women, and the few men, in the waiting room often have their faces glued to their phones. They scroll and scroll and barely look up. I wonder if they are trying to bury their sadness or just passing the time. Sometimes I do the same, but I often try to distract myself in other ways. Watching the TV, usually set on a morning show. Or just staring ahead. Today, I brought a book. It’s digital so I am not sure that counts much more than being on my phone, but I give myself the benefit of the doubt.

I am distracted by the other voices in the rooms. Names not my own being called. Women finding a socially distanced seat. Others handing their paper to the receptionist and checking out. I overhear one woman asking what she is supposed to do next. “Someone will call me right?” This must be her first time. I feel halfway sorry for her, as this is a place she’ll likely end up spending a lot of time in, just like the rest of us.

As I wait, I think about the women I had seen when I was in for my IUI. Two of them were named Katherine, which I know because they both approached the desk when the name was called. There was another woman, with her husband, and reading a book. They were all in for IUIs or IVFs, which I know because there are two waiting rooms—one for monitoring appointments and another for those getting procedures. I wonder if they got their babies this month. Part of me hope the loud and slightly rude Katherine did not, but I know that that is not a nice thing to think. Infertility brings out the mean in us. I can’t fathom what it would be like to get anything but a negative result. It’s all I know.

When my name is called, I go back to the tech’s room. I am trying to make it a point to learn people’s names at the clinic. Even though I won’t remember them all, and I see different people each time I come in, I still want to be polite and easy to deal with. I imagine that the receptionists, nurses, and techs deal with lots of angry and frustrated people. Again, infertility lead to meanness.

My tech walks me through the instructions, but she knows I’ve been here before, I know what to do. As she sticks the probe in me, I think of that the number of ultrasounds I’ve had greatly outweighs the times I’ve been pregnant.

Even though I feel like a fertility clinic veteran, I am still new to this. We’ve been trying for three years, but only at the clinic six months. This will be just our third IUI. I met a woman this week who has had five IVFs. A woman I know from another lifetime had four IUIs and two IVFs. This could be a much longer road for us, but I try not to think about that.

After the clinic, I made errands to two different pharmacies to pick up medications. One is a trigger shot so that I have it for whenever my follicles are ready and we need to stimulate ovulation. The other was for a med I’ve been on since we started at the clinic to manage my thyroid.

Tomorrow, I will start another medication to stimulate my follicles in the hopes more than one egg will be released. I imagine that we’ll be back for another IUI before the Fourth of July.

I want this cycle to be different. Rather, I need it be different. Your father and I are committed to eating better and taking our vitamins. He’ll take less hot and shorter showers. I will manage my stress and cut back on drinking. We need you to come this round, because if you don’t, I am just not sure what is next.

But, I guess I can’t worry about a failed cycle as it has just barely started. We’ll take it day by day, and we’ll keep waiting and hoping for you.

Love you.

Mom

Trying to have a baby, seeking fertility treatments, trying to stay hopeful.