It's THAT day of the month. I look down, a tinge of red, another period- and I'm devastated. I hate that this always hits me so hard. I understand if I had just gone through a round of IVF and implanted a plump and healthy embryo in a clinic renowned for success. But no such thing happened this month. This month, at age 43, with a balanced translocation to boot, I had a cancelled IUI cycle due to poor response. We tried on our own, but statistically speaking, the odds were far, far from in my favor. My period should not have been a surprise to me. I shouldn't have been so upset, but I was.
Whenever my period comes, my husband knows to give me some space to grieve, so I went up to my room, and started to think about why this is so hard for me each month. The words that finally
came to mind were "wild hope". That’s how I define the kind of hope that grips our hearts in the absence of any meaningful evidence that hope is warranted. It is not a justified hope, and it is not a cautious hope. It is a passionate desperate hope that holds tight, no matter how hard we try to shake it off, and it is exactly the kind of hope that takes up residence in my heart each and every month no matter how good or bad of a cycle we had. Even after the worst cycles, when my rational mind clearly rejects that possibility of hope (ex. ultrasound shows I didn’t even ovulate, but maybe, just maybe...) my heart continues to hold on. As hard as I try to play it cool and build up some emotional armor to protect me from the impending letdown, hope keeps sneaking up on me. I can't help but hope that maybe conception happened in spite of my dismal response to intervention, that maybe I beat the odds of age and balanced translocation, that maybe this painful journey is over.
It’s such a vulnerable place to be, and it often just makes me feel silly to be thinking and feeling this way. I’m a smart, rationale woman most of the time, but I feel like my mind is trying to sell me some emotional snake oil each month, and I’m buying. Wild hope leads me to forums and websites, looking for any post or story that would suggest that there might be a happy ending in spite of whatever roadblock I've hit. Wild hope is only one step ahead of disappointment, and I can feel it in hot pursuit.
I’ve tried to shake wild hope in order to make disappointments easier to bear, but I can't seem to do it. So maybe I just need to make friends with wild hope. Maybe I need to set the self-judgment aside and just be ok with how I'm feeling. Maybe my heart’s refusal to give up on this baby no matter what the obstacles is what keeps me going. Maybe love and reason don’t live in the same zipcode. Maybe I need to make peace with wild hope, and thank it for holding on in tough times when I feel ready to give up. Perhaps wild hope is a testament of love for my unborn child and belief that somehow, miracles DO happen. Keep hoping wildly ladies, and keep daring to dream.
Somewhere over the rainbow,
Way up high.
There's a land that I've heard of,
Once in a lullaby.
Somewhere over the rainbow,
Skies are blue.
And the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.
Somewhere Over The Rainbow lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, CONEXION MEDIA GROUP, INC.