I tried to move quietly. Sea had woken up with me but, with the day off work, had quickly fallen back asleep. I looked over: the cats had already claimed my side of the bed, leaving me the only one awake. Squinting in the near darkness, I dressed in clothes that I hoped were both clean and work-appropriate before fishing socks from a drawer and heading downstairs.
It was only as I was about to leave the house that I unfolded the socks and realized they weren’t the semi-respectable work socks I thought I had grabbed, but a novelty set of three mismatched socks that I had been given for Christmas. I considered going back upstairs for another pair, but was already running late and didn’t want to wake Sea. Defiantly, I chose the most mismatched of the socks: bright stripes on one foot, orange and green spots on the other, and headed out to Clinic One.
The holiday decorations had been purged from the waiting room: the garland was gone, the red and gold ornaments packed away. It looked as if the Grinch had visited Clinic One. Only the tree remained, still shoved into the same corner but stripped of all embellishments. I only had a few minutes to take in this slightly grim scene before being called in for my blood draw.
It was not a good day for blood drawing. The technician flicked, tapped and slapped at my arms and hands, ignoring the fact that a person was attached to the “uncooperative” veins that she was loudly tsking at. “We’ll get them to wake up!” she said, hitting the back of my right hand repeatedly as she spoke. My right hand admitted defeat, and the triumphant technician was given her vial of blood.
The ultrasound was much less eventful, conducted by the technician—called Diana from now on—who seems to have asserted full claim over these regular probings. As she conducted the ultrasound, she asked about my weekend. I explained that I had gone to a friend’s wedding, and then had to spend the rest of the ultrasound explaining how a wedding could have taken place in a location other than a church. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this is not the first time that I’ve been required to educate on social issues with my pants off.
Dr. Text was not at Clinic One, or perhaps he was and the other staff just couldn’t find him. In any event, I was called into an office by the fourth doctor. In a November mid-cycle slump, sulking over my unpredictable ovaries, I neglected to give this doctor a name or description. The fourth doctor appeared in Clinic One sometime around the beginning of November, a younger, balder version of Dr. Text. His actual name is pretty unbelievably great, leaving most potential pseudonmys feeling a little lackluster, so the fourth doctor he’ll remain. Anyhow, the fourth doctor cheerfully announced that the follicles were at 11mm each. That’s right, the follicles— three of them.
One might still take charge, leaving the others behind. Or three follicles could turn into three eggs, which could (only very hypothetically) turn into three babies. Third try is the charm?