11.14.2012

On Hope

This is my fourth cycle on my current chart and I have to tell ya, I'm feeling completely nervous about it. The first cycle was a beauty. The 1 cycle out of 6 that my body decides to cooperate. As it was coming to its end, I found myself full of hope. Dreaming and planning combined with a bit of freaking out while trying to stay grounded in reality. The second cycle was anything but a beauty. A return to my usual weird spotting and AF arriving on P+10. The third cycle, my last one, was surprising. It was a beauty as well. And it was the one time I needed it to be it's usual short, ugly self so I could schedule the saline-sonohysterogram (I can type that word without having to look it up now - just keep it to yourself if I'm spelling it wrong :)). With all of its beauty, came all of the hope. The dreaming and planning combined with a bit of freaking out and trying to stay grounded in reality.

This hope. It is a tricky thing. You see, when I'm dreaming and planning I feel alive and full of energy. I feel joy and look forward to the future. I see beyond our current day to day circumstances. But it's always tempered with trying to be realistic, trying to not set myself for a horrible crash. These months, the crashes have come. The tears are less than they used to be and have been replaced, a little bit, with an overwhelming sense of sadness. A mourning of all of the dreams and plans I had. A mourning of the  new life that is once again not here. Only it was here, if only in my head and in my heart.

There are times I get angry at this hope. Times I wish it wouldn't come and for a while it didn't. Three cycles ago was the first time in a long long time I had allowed myself to hope. That I had embraced it rather than stifle it and relished in the dreams and plans, and even in the freaking out. And this past cycle, I feared the hope, but I cautiously let it take over. And I'm coming to understand that this hope is necessary. At least at this point on our road. While the sadness at CD1 is almost palpable, the hope that will come in a few weeks is like a light at the end of a long, dark tunnel. It is the light that will pull me through the anxiety of my fertile days. And it is the light that will shine, if only for a few moments, so brightly it will warm and soften my cold heart.

I often tell people that once you learn NFP you can't "unlearn" it. And regardless of where our road takes us, whether it is to parenthood or not, whether we continue medical interventions for years or for months, I truly pray that this hope continues to pull me forward during the months when we've asked God to help us create new life. No, the hope doesn't lessen the sadness. It stands as a sharp contrast to it. And the sadness certainly tempers the hope. But the ability to still have hope is one gift of infertility I want to never lose. No matter how painful the cost.

16 comments:

  1. Absolutely beautiful. Thank God for the terrible, tormenting grace of hope!

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  2. I completely agree with everything you said about hope. It is a blessing and a curse.

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  3. Amen. We can't live with it, and we can't live without it. I love the last couple of lines. Hope is such a beautiful thing that it really is worth the pain, but the pain is so very intense sometimes. Praying for you, friend!

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  4. Hope is such a hard thing to deal with -- which is why I'm so torn about what to do! Hope is what has kept me (semi-) sane for the past seven years, but it also has made shutting the door on biological motherhood so difficult.

    Continued prayers for you!

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  5. Yes, hope is so tricky! I am praying for you! On a side note: when we found out Barack Obama won the election my DH blurted out "ok, let's move out of state." me, "where? Washington is a blue state too hon. " DH looks at the map of states BO did not win and says "West Virginia, they have mountains too." My DH's priorities are getting out of a blue state and making sure there are mountains wherever we go, lol! I thought you would appreciate that :)

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  6. Even though we are not actively TTC now, I am still SO hopeful each month right around Peak and then right before AF. "This could be the month," I think. "Others have experienced a miracle pregnancy, so I could too." Yes, the hope does not die.

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  7. Beautiful. I never really thought of the hope itself being something to look forward to and appreciate. I finally stopped "getting my hopes up" a few months ago, and they have been some pretty crappy months--maybe that is part of the reason why.

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  8. I've just been reading Josef Pieper Faith, Hope and Love. The section on hope is cold compared to your post. On love, he says only those who love can mourn. Here he's spot on!

    Will keep you in my prayers.

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  9. Wow -! Beautiful and hopeful to read! You capture my feelings exactly. Wish I could express than as beautifully.

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  10. I think I have read this post, started to comment, and then stopped about three times. Oh, hope. I have such mixed emotions about you I hardly know where to begin. I think you said it all pretty well. I will say, though, that no matter how hard the "crash" on CD1, I know life would be much darker without that beautiful light of hope that we occasionally get glimpses of. Hope is not the easiest thing to live with at times, but I know I would be so lost without it.

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  11. Oh Rebecca, There is something far greater out there guiding your journey! I know you know this, but trust in the good Lord that your journey will take you exactly where you are meant to be! The journey is hard, but there are gifts! Keep your eyes and heart open and you will see! God Bless!

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  12. I have such mixed feelings about hope. My last cycle was my first truly perfect cycle and I felt hope like I hadn't felt in ages. I also cried harder on CD 1 than I had since we first hit the one year TTC mark and I finally called myself "infertile." The hope was so sweet, but the hurt was so great. I'm still not sure if the highs of hope are worth the lows of hurt for me.

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  13. My heart goes out to you and your husband. I know this isn't an easy path to walk. I've been telling myself not to get my hopes up for the last 2 years of our TTC journey, and though it temporarily helps ease the pain with each failed attempt, it has also robbed me of the great joy associated with hope.

    I recently saw this image posted by Jon Acuff, and it opened my eyes to the damage my hope squashing behavior could cause.

    http://instagram.com/p/gwev8/

    I'm allowing myself to hope, and I'm glad you are, too. Praying for you!

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  14. What an odd thing hope is! It heals your heart and breaks it all at once; restorative and painful at the same time.

    I pray that hope for you is all that is good and beautiful!

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  15. Living in the tension isn't easy. But, it's the best way to live an authentic, joyful life. Thanks for being a testament to that!

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  16. Just adding a comment because the "Daily Jolt" (that is always at the top right of my blog) from today fits perfectly with this post:

    "Hope is the only thing stronger than fear." ~From "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins

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