I was supposed to be coming home from NYC and my Intralipid infusion right now, but the pharmacy messed up and didn't ship my Intralipids to the Dr's office. So now my appointment is Monday.
I have two follicles (that's it?) this cycle, 1 on the right, 1 on the left. They are at 15 and 16 mms, and I am to do 2 more 50 iu injections and then trigger Sunday evening. BDing is to take place Monday and Tuesday as per the Dr's orders, and we may just do that. In the past I have not "waited" until after trigger, but have been practicing the "get as much sperm in good cm as humanly possible" self-devised protocol. Since that hasn't worked, maybe this time I'll try the RE's suggestion. Not like they have a lot of "natural BD" success, nor that they know anything about CM... but I'll still give it a whirl.
Last weekend was the Hope Retreat that a dear friend of mine helped to organize with another lovely young woman, both FertilityCare Practitioners. It was really a nice experience, though I did have a few suggestions of how to make it even better in the future. I would have loved to have a priest as one of the speakers, for example.
The best part of the day for me was when guest speaker N.eal Laza.no prayed over us individually as couples. He did so quietly so that the other couples in the room did not hear the prayers for the couple receiving the prayers. I was under the impression he was saying the same thing to everyone. That is, until it was our turn.
When we got up there, we told him our names and closed our eyes to receive the blessing. The other group facilitators were also there, with their hands over us - it was very much like our Sacrament of the Sick which we received at our Marriage Encounter weekend (did I ever post about that??)
Then he began to pray. He said RIGHT off the bat, "God, please bless TCIE and TCIE's DH (ok, he didn't say THAT, but you get the gist) in the area of their physical relationship especially. May they come together only in love and be able to leave behind all of the negative feelings they have come to associate with their lovemaking..." I'm paraphrasing, but seriously, it was as if he had read my diary, er, blog before giving us the blessing!! I was so taken aback I started to cry, and then he directed the prayers more towards me: "Please help TCIE, and may she know that IT IS OK TO HOPE. She has been so very disappointed in the past, and she may feel like there is no reason to hope any longer, so please come to her in a special way and bring her the hope she needs."
It is ok to hope.
Words I desperately needed to hear.
With all we are doing to try to bring a baby into our lives, it may seem to an outsider that we are full of hope. But that could not be further from the truth. The truth is, we have been beaten down to the point where we are empty. There is no hope, no light, no joy. I think the reason I'm working so hard now is so that when we are DONE done and living our childless lives (shudder), I can look back with no regrets. I won't need to wonder, what if we had tried that treatment, or that medication? What if we had seen that Dr?
The prospect of it all is pretty scary. But without hope, of course it's scary. When hope is alive and well, you know and believe in your heart that miracles can and do happen. When it's gone, you may feel safer, more realistic, and honest (with yourself). By taking away hope, you take away the lows of the fall... but you also take away the highs.
I am trying to allow this prayer for me to accept hope into my life again to work in me. I am asking St Gianna to help.
I was watching "City of Angels" last week, with Meg Ryan and Nicholas Cage (well, I wasn't watching it WITH them... that would have been cool, though), and a line in the beginning really hit home for me. The Meg Ryan character is a surgeon, and a patient had just died following one of her operations. She had done everything right. Everything. She was distraught at the fact that she had no control. (Gee, sound familiar?)
And she said to her friend the next day, "I realized that all this time, I thought I had the control. But I never did. I NEVER did. It was never in my hands. What do I do with that?"
Last cycle was a CLASSIC, textbook cycle. If you took the most fertile woman in the world and followed her with b/w and u/s during her cycle in which she conceived natural triplets, her cycle wouldn't have lit a candle to mine. It was THAT perfect.
And yet, it was never in my hands. The perfection of that cycle had NOTHING to do with what I was doing medically (well, ok, it was helped along by meds, but I had taken all those same meds before and had different results). And the failure of that cycle had NOTHING to do with anything I did.
I never had the control. I never did. It was never in my hands.
I can continue treatments in the hopes of correcting known, diagnosed issues that I have. I don't think that God is giving me the message to stop everything. Not yet. But He is CLEARLY giving me the message that, no matter what I do and no matter how wonderful a cycle is, it is going to be in HIS time, not mine, when I become a mother.
And isn't that the whole point of why we practicing Catholic IFers avoid IVF? So that we can invite God into our bedrooms and into our family by giving Him the ultimate say in how and when the three of us procreate a new life? I am embarrassed now to think of how I reacted last cycle when it failed. Sure, disappointment is a given, but I literally threw all hope out the window with that BFN. And in throwing that hope out, it's almost as if I was throwing God's "invitation" out, too.
Christopher West gives a great analogy in his purple book on Sex and Marriage about the way we invite God into our bedrooms being like an invitation to a wedding. I'll continue that analogy here in saying that when I abandon the HOPE that God can and does work miracles even in the crummiest of cycles, it's like not sending a family member a wedding invitation because you assume they can't/won't come anyway. Only to find out later, this family member loves you SO MUCH, they would have moved mountains to make sure they were there.
So with that, I am sticking my invitation to God back in the mail. I "HOPE" that in His time, He will respond.