Sunday, February 22, 2009

Walking on water or skating on thin ice

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. 


Duck said...

I believe that the odds are with us, that crappy things can only happen so often and that we deserve miracles. If they happen for others, why not us? We see people all the time getting pregnant after IVF, and now that the embryos are in a "proven environment" can't we hope and believe, that this will happen?
This is our year.

Andie said...

Miracles do happen. Dust off those shoes and walk on water!

I know its hard to stay positive after so much loss and disappointment. I also know what it feels like to walk that line between trying to stay positive and not wanting to get your hopes up in the face of impossible odds.

But staying positive is all you can do. You can't live in fear. If we didn't believe in miracles or that things will work out for us, we wouldn't keep trying. And so we keep attempting to walk on water!

Good luck! Thinking of you, and crossing everything for Friday.

N said...

Hugs to you...the wait is SO hard. I think our surrogacy cycle wait was the hardest ever because it felt like the last hurrah. There's nothing I can say to make it better, but keep the hope. Those embies are in a safe environment and have a GREAT chance.

DAVs said...

Beautifully written.
Go ahead and walk on water--I hope this is your miracle!

luna said...

waiting with you tabi, and thinking of the best result.

Ms Heathen said...

Beautifully written, tabi! It's a very fine line to walk.

Thinking of you as you wait, and hoping for the best result.

Shinejil said...

It is natural that our brains expect what has already happened so many times to happen again. And it's awful when your subconscious tosses a bunch of fear and anxiety up into your dreams (I just had that recently and it's so disturbing).

That said, they are just fears that neither reflect nor determine reality, you don't know what the beta will bring, and there is hope. Just get through the next few days the best you can, dear tabi, and take really, really good care of yourself. You'll be in my thoughts.

momsoon said...

I hear you loud and clear- always a teater-totter for me in the second half of the 2ww. The first bit I am still full of excitement and slowly the negative memories from past disappointments starts to rob me of hope.

The past has nothing to do with what is happening today-it only exsists in our minds.

I know many stories of miracles and hope to add yours to my list of inspiration...

Because I am just starting with surrogacy, I wonder if you can tell me if it is any 'easier' because YOU are not analyzing the twitches/ symptoms in your body?
Would love to hear how this 2ww differs...

Praying and hoping for you...

TABI said...

Thanks everyone for the support and the reminder that miracles can happen!

momsoon- I can safely say it is easier for me that I can't obsess over every twitch and cramp. I am really grateful for that. It doesn't stop my mind from racing with other worries but I know it takes some of the edge off knowing at least my embryos are in a safe environment for once! It's the one thing I know we are doing differently that gives me hope. But I think there is a different kind of pressure I feel since I am involving another person so I am scared of how awful I will feel after investing so much and it still not working. So it's a different sort of stress for me. Please keep asking anything you like about surrogacy, it really is a unique journey!

alicia said...

what a great cartoon and a great meaning you have put to it!

I think its great you are walking on water instead of skating on the ice! Its so hard to have faith and believe that no matter the outcome it was meant to be, so hard. But it sounds like you are in a great frame of mind!

Elizabeth said...

I'm thinking of you this week and hoping for great news on Friday. During our 2ww I vacillated between "this is never, ever going to work" and cautious optimism.

Dora said...

What a beautiful post. Hoping for a great big beta number!

Intending To Be Parents said...

Thinking about you and hoping the beta gets here really, really soon!

Parenthood For Me said...

"It means that I have faith in my own endurance and my own ability to survive. It means I am not alone." I love that quote.
IF gives us no choice but to have faith but prepare ourselves for all outcomes. I wish you well.

I recently found your blog. I am an adoptive mom who went through ART for 4 years. I recently started a non profit, Parenthood for Our mission is to provide financial and emotional support to those starting families through adoption or medical intervention. Please visit our website and blog and pass the links on.
Erica Schlaefer

OldWestMom said...

I found your blog through This post really moves me. Conception has eluded us for some 13 years.

I credit you for persevering and being brave. When we were considering our ART options, scenarios similar to what you described all haunted me. I just couldn't do it.

We decided to take the adoption route. It's not without its challenges.

What I struggle with most is fairness. I see so many people who would make FANTASTIC parents, but somehow just can't quite make it. Then you hear stories about babies being left in the trash, or taken from abusive homes, and you just can't help but feel jilted somehow.

I'll be back to follow your blog. Best of luck and I hope this all goes well!