I just started taking hormones again today. After they retrieved the eggs last time I was on two other medications, then I had two days off, and I’m back on some other hormones getting ready for them to implant. In my normal life I don’t even take Tylenol, but for now I’m a pill popper.
This time feels different. We have one good embryo, which has better odds for a successful implantation, so I’m more hopeful. Which means I’m more afraid, because of course to hope is to fall farther. I think though, that even if it fails, I won’t regret hoping because it was the only honest thing I could do. That is what this process has taught me.
I came up to the mountains for the weekend to spend some time with two of my sisters and their kids. Just for reference it might be helpful for you to know that all three of my sisters and my two best friends from college are all pregnant right now…at the same time. Every time they announced their pregnancies they did it with pity in their eyes and a gentle tone in their voices. It was an effort to be comforting, but I mostly didn’t need to be comforted because our situations were apples and oranges, it felt like different worlds.
But then today my sister was telling me about one of her friends who I know a bit and have followed along in her and her husband’s adoption story. She struggles with infertility but it turns out she’s pregnant, even after a doctor told her she miscarried and she even took pills to help her body completely clean out the failed pregnancy. Then she went into a doctor to discover that there was still a heartbeat, pumping along like the little miracle it was. I love this story, it’s the most beautiful tale of miraculous life, but I walked into the bathroom and cried big ugly tears over my emptiness. We were in the same category, the ones who struggle to have children. She got a hall pass though and I didn’t.
For the first time in a while I told God how I felt. I didn’t try to talk myself out of it by telling myself how little I actually deserve, or tell myself I’m crazy to be sad over someone else’s miracle, I just heaved on the wood floor and said, “why not me.” Just like a five year old.
I remember myself last time I went through IVF and I was trying desperately to control my feelings so that I could be the most prepared for whatever outcome. Of course it was a big charade because all I was really doing was ignoring what was there, and it didn’t prepare me for disappointment anyways. I told myself I was being realistic, that I was controlling my expectations, which is actually a healthy practice in normal life to a certain degree. Then there is just fooling ourselves which is what I was doing. I was living in this fake alternate universe where everything was dictated by a struggle to avoid hope via spiffy phrases I repeated that were all an effort to say, Brook you’re fine.
Today I’m a little better at facing an unknown future with an honesty with myself and with God. So I pray all the time, I pray for mercy, I pray for a miracle, and I hope.
I’ve been reading through the gospels and the parables about asking keep sticking out to me. Particularly the one about the man waiting outside his neighbors house asking for loaves of bread so persistently until his neighbor finally does it just because the man won’t stop. I typically think in prayer, well God knows what I want because I’ve asked before, it’s up to him now. But now I don’t even care, I just keep asking and asking and asking, and I keep hoping. I’m bracing myself for the fall of potential disappointment. But I won’t regret the hope, I'll finally let it be.