The Wall

A friend of mine who had also underwent ART (assisted reproductive technology) to conceive her child and I were talking a few months ago about the strange and abrupt finality of things once a clinic patient gets pregnant. You see your reproductive endocrinologist several times a week for months (sometimes years) on end. He or she has witnessed your tears at your first consultation, which has likely come after months of trying to get pregnant. He/she has seen you at your most vulnerable, and in the most vulnerable of positions more times than you can count. You’ve placed your desire for a child in this doctor’s hands (in my case, multiple times), and when the attempts to conceive failed, he or she always had a plan ready for your next attack.

Yet when that long-awaited day arrived, when you learned that your body had finally achieved that which every one else in the world seemed to be able to do without getting nightly ass injections and shelling out their life savings, the relationship with this doctor, which had become incredibly close throughout the course of your treatment. came to a screeching halt, like a boyfriend who just suddenly stopped calling.

My last contact with my clinic was on Monday, January 9th of this year. It was the day we first saw Isabella and her heartbeat thumping away on the ultrasound machine. After that appointment, I only saw my regular OB. I didn’t hear from my fertility doctor after that point. As far as I knew, they wouldn’t know if my pregnancy was carried to term or not. And that seemed so strange to me. I guess I expected something. A phone call to check how things were going halfway through the pregnancy, perhaps. After all, for a place in the business of creating miracles, you’d think someone there would be interested in the outcome of their hard work.

Of course, I had forgotten all about The Wall.

Mounted on the hallway wall on the way back to the exam rooms at my fertility clinic are hundreds (maybe more) of tiny little engraved plaques. Each bears the first name and date of birth of a baby born as a result of ART at my clinic. I walked by that wall hundreds of times in the course of the 15 months I was treated there. To me, that wall represented hope. So many couples had achieved success at my clinic, and here was the proof. Especially fun to see were the plaques with two (and sometimes three) names on them, representing twins and triplets. And I wondered if I would ever have a name to place on the wall to signify my success. And yesterday I got my chance.

The IVF coordinator called to check on my "outcome." I told her I had a daughter on August 22nd. She asked for Isabella's name, weight, whether she was healthy or had any medical problems, and how my pregnancy was. And then she asked if I wanted Ella's name on the wall, to which I answered, "definitely." Since this was the first time I had talked to anyone at the clinic since January, and because they are repsonsible for giving me the gift of my daughter, I thanked her for helping to work a miracle. And she said how happy she was that they had been able to help me. I wanted to add, "Hey, take good care of my four frozen future children until I need them," but I refrained.

So Isabella will get her own tiny plaque on The Wall, one baby born among hundreds of others as a result of cutting-edge medical technology. And maybe someday, a girl will walk down that hallway in the shoes I used to wear, see Isabella's name on the wall, and feel a sense of hope where there used to be none at all. And maybe, just maybe, having hope will make a difference for her.

13 Responses to “The Wall”

  1. # Blogger M

    What an awesome post! It gave me chills!
    I haven't seen my dr. since I dropped off meds to be donated and to tell them that it was a girl. I have a friend, who unfortunately, has been going to see Dr. S to begin treatments and everytime she goes- Jo, the nurse, asks about me. :) I promised to take Maddy in after she is born.
    They don't have a wall at my RE's, but I will never forget Christmas time. There were hundreds of those picture greeting cards with babies all over them sent in from past patients showing off their little miracles. I remember looking at each and every one of them, wondering if I'd ever get to do that. I also read countless framed letters from past patients who had given up hope and then Dr. S performed his miracle for them.
    I'm excited to be able to do that this year, because last year at this time I didn't have a lot of hope.  

  2. # Blogger sunShine

    That was beautiful. Thank goodness for hope.  

  3. # Blogger Christine

    That was lovely Kristi.  

  4. # Blogger Marie

    Just wonderful!  

  5. # Blogger Kross-Eyed Kitty

    You are a nice person.
    And Isabella is lucky to have you as a mom, and may you both give hope to others.  

  6. # Blogger sher

    Oh, that moved me so much. Someday you should write a book about this. You write in a way that makes me laugh and cry--sometimes at the same time. I love the idea of Ella's name on the wall. Each woman must look at those plaques and feel such hope.  

  7. # Blogger l

    Great post. I wish all parents appreciated the miracle their children are, regardless of how they were conceived. Ella's a blessed little girl.  

  8. # Blogger Dee Dee

    It is great that Ella will be on the wall, and I'm sure that seeing her name will give someone else hope that could truly make the difference.

    Children are the greatest blessings in the world - I too wish everyone knew that.


  9. # Blogger annelynn

    I met your sister this past weekend! :) Such a nice family you have, Kristi. And the pizzas she made? HEAVENLY. She told me that Ella has changed so much already - I look forward to seeing more pictures!

    This is an awesome post, and Sher is right - you have a way with words. As always, thank you for sharing.  

  10. # Blogger Shannon

    I found your blog through a friends and really have enjoyed reading it, but this last post almost made me cry... even though I didn't have to go through what you did to get your baby, it did take 7 years... and that wall... it should be hope for those who want a baby so badly! Thank you for the wonderful post!!  

  11. # Blogger Hopeful Mother

    Kristi, as always, thanks for remembering what it is like on "the other side of the wall." Your writing is always so poignant and I feel like I really know you!

    I'm sure Ella's name on that wall will give others hope, just like your blog has given me.

    Hope you are feeling well, Kristi!  

  12. # Blogger The Princess

    I love that post so much, it gave me the chills.

    I'm sure you look at Isabella the same way I look at my daughter....a beautiful miracle.  

  13. # Blogger Kristi

    M-That's so neat that your RE put up all the Christmas cards. It took me awhile to see the "hope" aspect of The Wall, but once I did, I was really happy to walk by it at each visit.

    Sunshine, Christine, Marie, and Ramona-Thank you!

    Sher- you are so sweet. I have actually always wanted to write a book, but never knew what to write about. You're right-this may be the perfect topic. I'm so flattered that you enjoy my blog.

    L-Thank you. I do see Ella as a miracle. That's for sure.


    Annelynn-That's neat that you met Karrie. She is an amazing cook! And I'm so happy you like my blog.

    Shannon-It's amazing, really, how truly blessed parents of babies long fought for feel once their miracles finally arrive. Thanks for stopping by!

    Hopeful Mother-I'll never forget what it was like on the other side, because those years have played a huge part in who I am today, and how I view Ella in my life as well. And I so hope that you'll know exactly what I'm talking about soon.

    Princess-Exactly right. :)  

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