I’m a rookie, a newbie, a recruit and a pioneer of my own reproductive system. If this process weren’t so painful, I’d find it more fascinating. Nothing is constant, everything is in flow, each new piece of information seems really, really good and then I find out that it’s actually not great in the scheme of things. It reminds me of playing super mario brothers as a kid. I could beat a few levels and then would get stuck spinning my wheels until a neighborhood kid found a secret code to get me past the hard levels and onto the good stuff. Isn’t there an “AABAupdownupdown” combo that I can use?
Today I got my progesterone levels back after an IUI. It’s a level 33. My best ever. Each time these pieces of good news come, the curtain lifts on a new act of this play. The scene is set at a garden party, everyone is enjoying the flora and fauna but there is an air of complacency in the room. Enter HOPE… She comes in a little tipsy with a womanly sensuality that is contagious and inspiring. Flowers become a little brighter, the sun shines a little warmer and all of a sudden, things are going to be ok – better than ok! But you see, as HOPE mingles her way through the party, guests start getting jealous of the attention that she’s giving to one guy in particular: WORSTCASESCENARIO or WSC, who takes advantage of this poor innocent creature, reeling her in further, only to sweep the rug out from under her in a moments notice. My WCS sends a rapid fire barrage of data, BFN’s of women in similar situations as I am, or sending a gaggle of happy babies and moms in front of me every day during the 2WW.
I read somewhere recently that the IF process makes you “Hope’s Bitch.” I laughed, but now that I think of it, HOPE less of a power player and more like a child herself. Innocent, optimistic, trusting, dreaming and believing that miracles will happen.
Here’s my problem. When I let HOPE in, WSC follows in uninvited and mentally/verbally abuses HOPE until she is broken down. My HOPE right now is beat up, needs a rest, some resiliency and a break – she really likes wine btw… She needs time to recover, but there is another character in this “reproductive review” called COURAGE. Stemming from the french word coeur, meaning heart, the love inside is the only language that COURAGE understands. COURAGE keeps pressing HOPE forward – it’s her cheerleader, it knows how she feels but reminds her of times when she persevered and succeeded at the most impossible of challenges. Without COURAGE, HOPE is a sitting duck for WCS’s most violent assaults.
The tricky part for me is remembering that it’s possible to be courageous and scared at the same moment and that this vulnerability is actually the greatest source of strength I have available to me. It’s also important for me to remember that it’s ok to not be externally happy and that normally when I am “faking happiness” it is more for the comfort zone of others rather than my own. It takes courage for someone to step into this journey with me, and while that doesn’t mean that I have to share every step of the way with everyone, it also doesn’t mean that I have to hide my struggle or my pain.
In the very beginning, I heard “Don’t lose hope! or faith! or think positive or make space in your heart!” The obligatory “Just Relax and Don’t Stress” are always soon to follow. I realized that stress and tension are biproducts of what is actually going on. I’m scared. Scared that I will never know what it is to be pregnant and more that I’ll never know what it’s like to be a mother of my own child or if I’ll be able to mother a child that’s not biologically mine. It’s all very scary….and then I remember that it’s possible to be scared and courageous at the same time. And I look at what my heart feels inside – my heart knows love, my heart knows only love and trying to preserve that love is the struggle. Trying to support hope through love is the challenge. I think I’ve figured out the pain – it won’t take it away, but at least I can name it for myself. In the body, pain is a noxious stimulus; a signal that danger is eminent. The pain of this process for me is that when pain occurs, I know it’s a signal that my inner light is flickering and that the love in my heart needs some attention. I’ve started talking to myself like a child – “it’s ok, you are ok, feel the feeling and it will lessen.” I think of how I will nurture my child when they come. I want them to know love inside and out and in order to do that, I have to teach myself first.
SO, on this day, with HOPE LOVE and COURAGE in my corner, I am giving up blame – of myself, my body, god, the universe, my dance career, my business. Everything does not happen for a reason. It just happens and we have to figure out our way through it. I give myself permission to reach out, to hide, to cry and to laugh. I allow myself to embrace my new “electric boobs” and my expanding hips as they are both a reflection of my commitment that I’ve made to being courageous for myself.
For those of you who read this, we each have our own journey and this is the articulation of mine thus far. I respect each of you and the journey that you are on and I am so grateful for the opportunity to share my journey in a safe place.