read this second

this is where i tell you that cycle 4 didn’t end the way we hoped. but it has ended nonetheless.

we’ve known for a few days now. since saturday for sure. and probably since friday if we’re being honest with ourselves. but i didn’t want to spoil anyone’s Christmas with the bad news. so i’ve decided to spoil your boxing day.

the official blood pregnancy test was scheduled for Christmas eve, but we didn’t make it till then. for the uneducated but not faint of heart, that means i started my period. i told my mom that if i wasn’t going to be pregnant anyway, it’s maybe better it happened the way it did. because who wants to be waiting around on Christmas eve for the nurse to call and tell you your pregnancy test is negative. that’s how i spent the morning and early afternoon of my birthday last year. not something a person wants to repeat.

so i had friday and saturday and sunday to come to terms with things before i had to put on my game face and celebrate on monday and tuesday.

before i launch into what i’ve been feeling and thinking, i just have to say how sweet my husband has been to me through all of this. i’m so grateful that he knows to hug me good and tight and long while i cry and sob and struggle to breathe. and i’m glad he tells me he loves me and that it’s not my fault. maybe i haven’t thought it was (or maybe i have), but it’s good he gives me that positive message to remember in moments of weakness when i might do something as crazy as blame myself.

Christmas eve and Christmas day were great. good food. good family time. good presents. good reading of luke 2. good movie (les miserables was very good). lots and lots of good distractions that helped me move along and not think. well, parts of les mis did make me cry. and not necessarily about what was happening on the screen. but 99% of monday and tuesday were pretty much great.

i did a lot of crying on thursday and friday and saturday and sunday. a lot. deep and painful sobbing.

it’s only right that i hurt long and hard. it makes sense to me that the grief and disappointment would be equivalent to the effort that we and so so so many other people put into working and praying and hoping this time would be the time.

letting all that difficult emotion wash over you leaves you vulnerable to doubt and discouragment. doubts about the assurances – both sought for and unexpected – that you’ve had over the past several months. doubts that you more easily dismissed when you were still hoping for your miracle.

here’s an example from my very first acupuncture apppointment.

after feeling my pulse for about a minute and asking a few questions about my menstrual cycles, bowel movements and sleep patterns, min pushed back her chair and said, “i’m sorry, but i don’t think your body can do it ever.”

she proceeded to tell me how terrible awful my kidney energy is. “it’s probably the worst [kidney energy] i’ve ever felt/encountered.”

you could say i was shocked. i lay down on my stomach as instructed. (she needed to treat me while lying on my stomach and on my back because of how bad a case i was; she usually only has to treat fertility patients while lying on their backs.) i could have lost it right then. with my face buried in that padded circle.

but i didn’t. i lay there and told myself that her words were not defining. i called upon God right then, actually, to give me strength to stay above those words.

then min hedged a little. if she were a politician, the media would say that she “walked it back.” she told me that although it was very rare, she had made mistakes before. she told me to hope that she was mistaken now. she said that maybe i am a person with a naturally low kidney energy and not someone whose kidney energy is alarmingly below natural levels. she told me to hope and to try as hard as i could anyway and that she would try as hard as she could, too.

my husband and a couple of others will tell you that i did take some time to process what happened at that appointment. i was tempted to get stuck on the part where she said my body couldn’t do it ever. (can you blame me?) but i worked through it and ended up being able to dismiss her words as false. i told dr. o later that week that i knew min’s first diagnosis didn’t govern. i knew it. i told my mom i knew it. i told my husband i knew it. i was a confident lady.

not so last weekend. do you want to know what i thought about as i went to bed at night? what idea replayed in my head over and over?

“your body can’t do it. ever.”

did i remember the walking it back that min did? debatable. i mean, i remembered what all she had said. i made a feeble effort to process and dismiss as i had done a few weeks ago. but it didn’t make a difference.

“your body can’t do it. ever.” that’s what hung around as i sat in that emotional valley.

and of course that’s what hung around. we pulled out all the stops we could think of this time. i was so disciplined about how i ate and about exercise. i took really good care of my body. i ate a bunch of eggs and other fertility foods. i took dietary supplements intended to improve egg quality. i did meditation every morning. i prayed. i fasted. a ton of other people prayed and fasted. all this energy was focused toward my body being able to do it. of course my mind went right to min’s words when i knew my body hadn’t done it this time.

so where am i now?

well, i’m putting myself back together. i’m working to remember what i felt and knew before i knew cycle 4 didn’t work. because what i believe is still the same; it just doesn’t have the temporal bounds of cycle 4 associated with it. if that makes sense.

i still can’t tell someone to his or her face that cycle 4 was a bust. i’m too afraid to see the pity in someone else’s eyes that would surely be there in spades. i haven’t figured out how to deal with that yet, so i’m avoiding.

it’s not that i mind crying in front of people, which i know i would do. i’ve done it before. i did it while singing “o holy night” with the choir on sunday. it’s that i mind crying uncontrollably in front of people. it’s a short short list of people with whom i can make myself that vulnerable.

i’m feeling fine today. i know everything will work out just the way it needs to. i know that ben and i will be parents. i don’t know when, and i don’t understand the miracle that will bring it about, but i know it will happen.

i know i must keep going. i must keep trying. i must keep believing.

so that’s what i’ll do.

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One Response to read this second

  1. Carol Schiess says:

    Okay, I’m finally going to say this: Just because she’s Chinese doesn’t mean she knows as much as she thinks she knows. Doesn’t necessarily mean she knows diddly. Just stick the needles in, lady, and keep your mouth shut. I know you know all this, but it makes me mad every time I think about it.


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