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The lobby at Windham Fertility Center is pretty empty considering there was an “egregious breach”. I thought for sure I’d have to wait forever since I decided to make an unannounced visit to get the details about how they didn’t fully protect my privacy. I’m sure this won’t take long considering I’m one of only 3 women in the waiting room. I should have plenty of time to stop and get breakfast before I head into the office. There are lots of young, fresh faced nurses standing around seemingly unbothered playing on their phones. That’s probably why there was a breach. These millennials are so damned easily distracted. One of those little assholes probably inadvertently tweeted out all of our information. Wow! I’m officially that old lady who is constantly wagging her disapproving finger at the youth?  One of them is bouncing toward me now. She’s awfully cheerful, so maybe the breach wasn’t that bad.

“Ms. Hammonds, Dr. Salaam will see you now.”

Finally! I can get this over with and go on about my day. I’m sure she’ll ramble on about how sorry they are and how much they value me as a patient, and blah, blah blah. Hopefully they’ll give a sista a discount on their annual fees. I make decent money, but I’d much rather not have to write a check for the full $7,000 next year. I’m definitely going to ask. The least they can do is knock a few dollars off for inconveniencing me.

Fifteen minutes later, I’m still sitting in Dr. Salaam’s office and she’s nowhere to be found. I’m getting annoyed because I was really looking forward to getting breakfast this morning.  Also, I was led to believe she was in here waiting for me.  I can’t help but notice her office is damn near empty. There are no pictures of her children, her plaques are gone, and all of the photos of her former patients have disappeared too. Maybe they’re going to paint soon. This awful taupe color has needed to be updated for quite a while.

I have no clue why I’m in a factory reset version of my doctor’s office.  More importantly, I don’t know why almost twenty minutes have passed since the nurse declared Dr. Salaam would see me, and she still isn’t here. I’m not an impatient person, but I haven’t had my coffee yet. Something’s gotta give.

“Hi, Ms. Hammonds, Thank you for coming in today. How have you been?”

I’ve been well, I suppose. How have you been, and why is your office so empty?

“Well, Ms. Hammonds, that’s directly related to why we asked you to come in this week. An egregious crime was committed under my watch, so they decided I need to be replaced. I begged them to let me personally deliver the unsettling news to all of the patients that were affected by what happened.

Okay, I’m a little nervous now. What kind of crime are we talking about, here?

“There’s no easy way to say this, but the eggs you have been storing here over the past six years were illegally sold, fertilized, and implanted into a surrogate around 5 years ago. We recently discovered that one of our doctors was secretly performing certain procedures for ¼ of our normal fees. Apparently he has a bleeding heart for poor people. I’m sorry, I meant financially unstable people.

Is this a joke? This is a joke, right?

“I’m afraid not. I wish we could just harvest more eggs, and try to put this ugly mess behind us, but…”

But, what?

“Ms. Hammonds, the implantation was successful. Biologically you have a daughter. She’s four years old.”


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