Return to the scene
As I pawed behind the pre-washed salad greens and aging Belgian endive, I came across the last of my unopened meds: 75 IU vials of Gonal-F and Repronex, two each. Since the expiration dates were coming up fast, I figured I should do something quickly, so I called the IVF coordinator at Dr. FYC's office and asked if she had any patients in the next couple of weeks whose insurance didn't cover meds and could use them. Yes, indeedy--she could use them as soon as I could get them to her.
Instead of mailing them across the bay on ice, I figured I might as well just drive them over. So I loaded up the coolpack, remembered to haul along my used sharps container for disposal and headed to San Francisco this morning, the errand feeling much like any other errand on a busy workday.
I found a parking spot just outside, chucked an obscene change-to-minutes ratio into the meter and started striding up the hill to the entrance. After a few of these purposeful strides, I remembered that neither my lungs nor my limbs are still capable of striding. I slowed to an amble. And that gave me a few moments to think before the elevator deposited me on the fifth floor and I opened the office door.
Here's what I was thinking: Holy shit, I'm walking into an RE's office with a giant, boastful belly, fully displayed in a fitted tie-back blouse. I didn't even think to wear a bulky, camouflaging coat. I'm an asshole.
But, of course, I had promised her the meds. And maybe, just maybe, whoever was in the lobby would be the recipient of big-belly's free drugs. So that's how I talked myself into surreptitiously opening the door and peeking my head around the corner.
Whew. The lobby was totally and completely empty: just me, the furniture and a shiny new espresso machine exuding a beautiful, beautiful smell. The two receptionists were behind the counter, chatting happily, and the IVF coordinator walked up just as I arrived. They oohed and ahhhed and said they couldn't believe how far along I was, and was she kicking much, and had we picked out a name. The receptionist who had an IVF baby while I was in the midst of my first failed cycle asked "if it felt real yet." They thanked me for the meds, said they'd love to see her when she gets here and would I mind waiting a minute while they fetched Dr. FYC so he could say hello?
So I waited in this emotionally-charged setting, forgetting my discomfort for a moment in a wave of some surreal nostalgia, till I heard the outside door open behind me. I froze. Felt like I'd been caught peeing in the men's bathroom or sneaking money from my father's wallet. I flushed, panic-stricken and mortified, and stared helplessly at the receptionists as two well-dressed thirty-something women walked up.
The receptionist with the IVF baby looked me in the eye and started laughing quietly. "Don't worry. They're just sales reps. But trust me, I know just how you feel--I felt that way every day I worked here when I was pregnant. I would have hated to see me and my belly if I were a patient."