A soft hum of air emanates from the ceiling, the receptionists are discussing cake, and a couple is paying for their visit in cash, counting out the coins that splatter across the counter as the door shuts softly behind me. My fingers shake as I listen to the description of my benefits, what’s covered, visits, testing, drugs, and what’s not, everything else, and I sign my name. There are two women chatting in Spanish, the cash paying couple disappears down the hallway, and a young professionally dressed woman sits across from me, our eyes connect for a brief moment and then bounce away. I pull out my notebook and begin scribbling, letting the thoughts spill from my mind.
I wonder what this appointment will be like? What will they ask? What will they want to know? Where do we start? Will I cry, as I am prone to, when discussing that eight months after deciding to try for a second baby, my first baby, my beautiful blue eyed son was diagnosed with autism. That my whole world shifted, tilted right under my feet and it’s taken me three years to feel right again. Over three years to finally make a phone call that I’ve been putting off because I have been working so.damn.hard to right my world all the while sitting atop a fence of indecision. And I do feel all right, finally. I’ve said to a few of my good friends that I feel “even” again. Autism changed our lives, but we’re still here, the Roc is still the Roc and going strong, and life is good. It’s taken time to get to this point, and I work every day to stay even and balanced.
Now I’m ready to find out. Find out why during all this time that we have “left the door open” for another baby, told people “if it happens, it happens” all the while actually trying to make it happen, it hasn’t. Each month goes by and I feel a slight sting, no baby.
Finally I get called back by a nurse and she leads me to the doctor’s office. I perch on a chair twisting and winding my fingers together to keep them still while she settles behind a big mahogany desk. We go over the paperwork I had filled out, my pregnancy history, my health, and I don’t cry when I tell her about autism. When she asks how he’s doing now my heart swells in my chest as I tell her he is doing great. Because he is. He is in kindergarten and keeping up, his writing, as frustrating as it is for him, looks just like his classmates, he’s sounding out words, he’s bright and delightful most of the time, and he’s been asking me when I am going to have a baby in my belly.
I am ushered back to the waiting room where I wait for the doctor. When he appears and calls my name I drop my pen and then stub my toe as I make my way to him. Why am I so jittery? He is kind, and I again discuss my history and the Roc, and again I do not cry. He explains their protocol and I like that they want to do many tests before even considering pumping any kind of drug through my system, because in the end we don’t know what we want to do. All we want right now is to know is why.
Why haven’t we conceived again and how hard will it be to make that happen?
I schedule the first test for Thursday and leave behind 4 vials of blood as the door shuts softly behind me.
I am no longer jittery as I walk to my car.