I awoke in the middle of the night, tears streaming down my cheeks, from a dream that seemed so real. It was the kind of dream that jolts you awake and you think, "Thank God that was just a dream." It was the kind of dream that has all sorts of obvious implications of fear. Not surprising since my beta is 5 days away.
There was a cartoon I saw online that really captured how I felt waking up from that dream. It has two warning signs with one figure on water and the other showing a crack in the ice. The caption reads,"Walking on water is not the same as skating on thin ice." It's exactly the line I battle with when walking down the road to beta. Do I believe in miracles? Do I believe I am walking on water right now or do I heed all the warnings that I am skating on thin ice? I am not sure if the cartoon is poking fun at faith or in fact re-enforcing the idea that it's all how you look at things.
I think we all have a little bit of "walking on water" in us or else I am not sure we could put ourselves through IVF on a continual basis. If it all came down to good numbers and perfect outcomes I think it would be pretty clear to all of us who was going to succeed and who wasn't. Why bother? Yet there is still an element of a crap shoot that is always there when the perfect blasts don't make a baby or the donor egg round still doesn't work or the beta doubles fine but you still miscarry. Or the opposite spectrum when crappy embryos make healthy babies, low betas still manage to climb, heartbeats unexpectedly appear on your next ultrasound. So what ensures that we are walking on water and not skating on thin ice? Nothing really. Nothing can clearly set that course and so it comes down to fear and belief once again. Two things I struggle with on a constant basis in my life.
There are a million reasons I am skating on thin ice right now. I am not young. My embryo quality was not good. I've had 4 pregnancy losses, why would this one be any different? I live and breath in the small percentage range. I've witnessed my worst fears come true. I have been quite unlucky. So naturally I had this awful dream last night. My brain is preparing for the pain. My body is now an outsider to pregnancy and so all I have left is my mind.
I am not saying I am doomed. I think skating on thin ice means you are at risk, you are in danger. It's natural to feel scared. By the same token, I don't think walking on water always means a guarantee of success. Miracles can take other forms that are different than what you want things to be. I think that's where faith gets confusing for me sometimes. If I have faith in something, it doesn't mean a magic pill. It means I believe things will work out the way it should. It means that I have faith in my own endurance and my own ability to survive. It means I am not alone.
So walking on water this week could be seen as foolish, delusional, unbelievable, or impossible. But what choice do I have? I can't keep skating on thin ice bracing myself for everything to collapse beneath me. I think my mind might just implode. Plus, I've fallen through the ice many times before. Yes, it sucks and it hurts like hell. So I know it may not be my time for the miracle of a baby. But I believe it's a miracle I am still standing. It's a miracle I still have hope. The ice has broken many times before and I haven't frozen to death or drown. So even though skating right now seems tempting, maybe it's time for me to take my shoes off and try walking on water.