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.