Shawnee Barton
I hate this fucking waiting room. I’ve never had an anxiety attack before, but sitting here, waiting for bad news, I’ve come close. My heart starts beating fast. I feel clammy and detached, like I am watching a scene from a movie. I snap at Mike, the receptionist, or anyone who tells me something I don’t want to hear. I try to breathe slowly, like my therapist taught me, but more than once, I get up and leave in order to preserve my sanity.

We’re moving on to IVF (which costs a lot more), and today the doctor tells us that we will be using a new protocol that he hopes will improve my egg quality—a problem that, until now, has been described to us as unfixable. In this protocol, I take human growth hormone (which isn’t approved by the FDA for fertility use) and testosterone in addition to the cocktail of other hormones and fertility medicines normally associated with IVF.

My mind can’t process anything after the doctor says “HGH” and “testosterone.” I envision thick dark hair covering my face and belly, and I picture my forehead swollen up like Barry Bonds’. The thought consumes me. I reach for a Kleenex, again try to focus on my breathing, and trust that Mike will ask the right questions.
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