Get off the elevator, turn right. The door is in the corner. Turn the handle and open it. Walk into that waiting room.
Or just stand in front of the door, looking at the list of names. Trying to breath and compose yourself. That’s ok too. Tell the receptionist why you are there. Try not to think about all the other times. Sit in the waiting room.
*Would you mind if I pretended we were somewhere else
Doin’ something we wanted to?
Sit in the waiting room for over an hour. Telling myself I had been the emergency. I had been the woman they called over from the hospital for. The woman that made that doctor fly out his office door, leaving other, healthy women, waiting.
He came in, asked me some questions. He called me by my name but didn’t recognize me. My hair is longer, a different colour. I am slimmer. I dress better.
He talked to me while he read my chart. I waited for the moment. When he got far enough down the chart. You can’t deliver all that many babies that die half an hour after birth. You can’t have all that many pre-eclamptic women heading towards congestive heart failure. You can’t have all that many habitual aborters.
Sit on the bed, in your paper gown, with a sheet over your legs. It’s been so long that you forgot to bring socks. Wait for the look. It’s coming.
Slide down the bed. It’s called the lithotomy position. Put your feet in the stirrups. Stare at the ceiling.
Would you mind if I pretended I was someone else
With courage in love and war?
The last time I saw him was in emergency. They called him over yet again. They used to do that. They would send me to whatever ob/gyn was on call in emerg, and that doctor would pull up my chart, and then they would say “let’s just get Mayo over here, shall we?” The last time, the time I was 9 weeks along, he came in and told me that there was no medical reason for a d&c, but he had OR time and this could be all over in 20 minutes. He put his hand on mine and waited.
Para 5. Gravida 0.
I used to think that’s what I was
But now this lyin’ hurts too much
And I don’t know what for.
We tell ourselves we can do anything for a short period of time. I stood on the verge, I called forth life and it left me every time.
And I did this for almost 3 years.
It’s just a bit of time. You can do anything for a bit of time.
I’m weak in the knees for you
But I’ll stand if you want me to
My legs are strong and I move on
But honey I’m weak in the knees…
*Serena Ryder, Weak in the Knees, If Your Memory Serves You Well, 2006