It’s Wednesday, my work week is in play after a beautiful long weekend, and my administrative duties have resumed. I hate today.
Heather appeared at my desk just before lunchtime, brandishing her phone. “It’s time!” I hate today.
Yesterday, as I was swanning about in the pool, Heather came out of the house—she was delayed in joining me by the last few minutes of “Keeping Up with the Kardashians”—and said, “Hey, who’s Kristi King?” Goddamn it.
“Heather, I need you to tell me that I am not allowed to interrupt our holiday weekend by doing anything related to IVF. Tell me to swear that I won’t return any calls or even listen to voicemail from any doctor’s offices.”
“Dude, we already agreed on that. I shouldn’t have to tell you again.”
“Heather! I just need you to repeat it back to me in those words.”
“Why? Why do you need those words? I can’t say it the way you want me to.”
So I made her repeat each word back to me. The stern tone I craved was absent, and I was close to jumping out of the pool. I didn’t, but felt terrible about it, and lay on my neon-yellow float wishing I had made an appointment with the stockbroker while I had the day off. Would next week be soon enough? Would I have to take a long lunch this week instead? No, no, no, no. Pool. Sunscreen. Float. But I hated it, and I hated it when Heather brought me the phone.
Helpfully, I commented that I’d noticed on the calendar that our approximate egg-retrieval day overlapped with my co-receptionist’s vacation and that I might not be able to go.
“That’s really important,” she said.
Yes, it is. And, no, I’m not good at confrontation, and I definitely don’t want to argue with my boss about whether it’s acceptable for the phones to be unmanned for a day. But how many times—fingers crossed—is Heather going to have her follicles harvested? How will she feel physically? Will she be uncomfortable or in pain? Will she feel comfortable driving by herself? Is it going to be an incredibly meaningful, tender experience that I’ll regret missing forever?
Twenty minutes later, she called my desk.
“Rachel, I love you. I really, really love you. But we’re only going to be doing this egg retrieval once, and her vacation is no reason for you to miss it. This is non-negotiable. You have to be there.”
So, confrontation it is. Unless the curmudgeonly god who has yet to supply us with a child comes through, arranging Heather’s cycle such that we can egg-retrieve earlier in the week.
We’re almost done, Heather says. Soon she’ll be getting shots and it’ll be her turn to be miserable. Fair enough. But those shots will need follow-up, and those follow-ups will be on her voicemail, and I’m so goddamn ready for a baby.