There she stands, hesitant to open the door, but not wanting to turn back to the elevator. I've just gotten off the elevator myself, heading in for a routine blood draw, and she's blocking my way into the office. She looks nervous, scared, like she feels a little silly. We make eye contact, something you rarely do in the office of grief and shame and I shrug and reach for the door. She laughs a little and goes on in.
The front desk attendant knows me well, checks me in and summons the phlebotomist. I overhear the woman from the doorway apologize for coming back in, but she wanted to discuss some questions about her calendar. As I walk away, she sits down with my favorite nurse and they discuss her upcoming cycle. Clearly her first.
My blood draw is quick and easy. The phlebotomist and I laugh and talk about silly things like refrigerator magnets and pie. She's my favorite, by far.
As I check out, I notice the girl from the doorway sitting alone on the consult couch, fretting her hands, checking her phone. My favorite nurse comes out and hands her a bag, tells her to just take it one day at a time. Easily said from someone who isn't staring down the barrel of a 2 page calendar filled with needles in the stomach.
We both end up waiting for the elevator at the same time again. She keeps her eyes on the floor as I ask her what floor, and press the buttons. When the doors open, and she takes a step out, I say, softly:
She turns back to me, tears in her eyes and says:
Thank you, I'm kind of scared.
I smile and nod as the elevator closes and I head down to my own car. I feel a little choked up myself, remembering my first time, the anxiety, the fears, the wonder of: what will happen. I'm grateful I'm not the new girl, grateful I'm not in that precarious place of: will I ever know what it's like to be a mother. And yet, here I am, still here after all these years, trying to complete my family, wondering what will happen, feeling anxious, scared and precarious. I know what it's like to be a mother, and it's so good I want to do it again. But I'm so very glad I'm not the new girl.
I hope she's not for long either.