“Thank you so much for coming in.” I smile at the receptionist while I hand her my insurance card. She looks at my name on the card, then gets up, and asks me to follow her.
“No problem,” I reply, nodding at her. “I mean, I didn’t think it was a suggestion when you called so …” I remember the urgency in her voice when she called with my results and asked me to come in to the office.
“The doctor will be right in with you.” She nods at me, then gestures for me to wait in his office. I look around at all the baby pictures lining his office walls. I smile at some of the red squished faces, thinking about if one of those was my child. Since I was five years old, the only thing I ever really wanted was to be a nurse and a mom.
I’m in my second year of John Hopkins University nursing school. However, the baby will have to wait just a bit or a while. I have my future semi-mapped out for me.
My first goal is to graduate nursing school at the top of my class. It’s fucking on. My second goal is to be an emergency room nurse. The hustle and bustle are what I strive for, searching for the adrenaline rush. Making someone better, it is just … I sigh … amazing.
The doctor opens the door and enters. “Hey there, Crystal, thank you so much for coming in.” The lack of eye contact worries me. Rule number one when you give bad news is not to make eye contact. My palms start to sweat as I sit here, wringing my hands. He pulls out his chair and sits in front of me, his eyes never meeting mine as he shuffles the papers on his lap.
My heart almost beats out of my chest, the sound echoing in my chest. I came in two weeks ago after not having had my period for six months. At first, I thought it was the stress of school and working. But then one month turned into two, and then there I was six months later.
“So we got your results back.” Dr. Vincent starts talking as he lifts one paper over another. I look over to see if maybe I can see anything, but all the letters and numbers look like zeros.
“Is everything okay?” I ask, my voice trembling, my leg starting to shake on its own. I look down at my Converse, studying where the white part has turned a light gray from the dirt.
“I’m afraid it’s not good.” He closes the file and finally looks up to meet my eyes. Folding his hands on the file, I almost feel like he’s protecting it. “The test results from the last time you came in are back. We conducted multiple tests.”
“I know, I was there,” I say. “I’m not dying, am I?” I laugh shakily, thinking this can’t be fucking happening.
“No, no.” He shakes his head. “You aren’t dying.”
I exhale and smile. “Well, that is good news, I think.”
“It is, but there is bad news.”
I chuckle. “I think me being able to live will outdo the bad news,” I joke with him.
“You’re sterile.” Two words … two words I wasn’t expecting to hear. Two words that make living not the best news. The tears come fast, they come hard, and my hand flies to my stomach as if to protect it.
“How can that be?” I shake my head, brushing the tears from my face. “It’s not possible. There must be a mistake.”
“I’m afraid I ran the test twice. That’s why you haven’t had your period. You don’t ovulate.”
“But I’ve gotten my period almost regularly since I was thirteen.”
“It’s almost as if your body is going through menopause.”
“There must be something I can do. There must be something that can be done. I mean, I don’t want to have a baby now, but eventually, I would like to become a mother.” I’m trying to get him to tell me everything is going to be okay. I’m begging him to tell me I can have a baby.
He shakes his head. “I’m so sorry. I wish I could tell you that we can freeze some eggs. But the truth is that last time you came in, we checked and not one egg was released. You had none.”
“What if I take hormones?” I sift through my medical knowledge in my mind but come up blank. “I’m nineteen. Are you saying I’m never going to be a mother? That my body is nineteen, but my uterus is fifty?” A sob breaks free.
“At this time, nothing you can take will help.” He looks at me. “I wish there was something I could do.”
“So what do I do?” I ask him, my chest heaving, my soul empty, and my heart broken. I will never hold my child in my arms. I will never have that moment when you sit down and feel your baby move inside you.