I have been praying A LOT about finding peace lately; Peace whether IVF works or not. Peace with where I'm at this exact moment in time. Peace with wherever this journey takes us. Part of this quest to find peace has been trying to understand that neither I, nor the doctors, have control over the outcome. I have known this from the beginning, yes.
Lately though, I've been trying to surrender control more through prayer and asking for PEACE...Notice I didn't say "for this to work." Of course, we want it to work. I've just stopped praying, "Please God let this work before it kills me!" and have changed it to "Please Lord give me peace and allow me to learn what you're trying to teach me."
We want a family more than anything RIGHT NOW, but one thing I've learned is that peace is exponentially a greater virtue to have than just getting the outcome we want when we want it. The real catch to that statement? I've found it's virtually impossible to experience failure after failure and still remain in a constant state of peace. If only it were that easy.
Some days I have so much peace that I feel having another failed IVF cycle won't even matter....that we'll just take things one day at a time and that we'll figure out what to do if & when that time comes. Then, out of nowhere, I can wake up the next day with an extreme amount of anxiety where my brain is completely stuck in a hamster wheel of fear. This happened over the weekend. I had too much time on my hands as my hubby studied for his MBA all day. Somehow I ended up on google, looking up SART success rates for every reputable fertility clinic across the country. I knew it would drive me batty and cause anxiety, and I did it anyways. Bad move.
It's like there is a voice inside saying, "What if this doesn't work Emily? Then what? Will you just try again with your last two embryos at your current clinic? Is there something they are missing? Maybe you should switch clinics? How much will it all cost to do that? How much time will it take? How much time do you even have left? What if this doesn't work, you change doctors, pay another $25,000, and it still doesn't work? Then what????" It is absolutely maddening I tell you.
I love the way a fellow blogger Stupid Stork described the hope/despair cycle phenomenon recently in her blog; Women in the midst of infertility treatments are now orbiting in outer space between two planets called "all your dreams come true" and "ha ha just kidding you're fucked". Yep, that about sums it up.
Peace has become like a drug to me in a sense. When I have hope and inner peace together it's like nothing can touch me. I wish I knew how to make it last 24/7, but no matter how much I pray for it and try to have faith in God's plan, I simply can't make it last every single second of every day. None of us can do that forever. Whenever peace eludes me, all I want is to have it back and return to my place of contentment....that happy place where I'm not questioning God's plan or the doctors who are treating me. I am trying my best, but sometimes my efforts don't cut the mustard.
Something I found really helpful was reading Pregnant with Hope, after another blogger In Due Time recommended it...
|Please read this book if you are|
struggling with faith and infertility!
With each story told by the man and woman in each couple, there is a take-away message drawing on scripture from the Bible to illustrate the lessons we can learn through our experiences on this journey. I was completely blown away by how well this book was able to define God's role in the infertility process, and specifically for those choosing to use modern medicine as part of the process. I have always believed that God uses doctors to work miracles in us that we simply cannot ourselves. It was nice to have this shared perspective re-affirmed.
There was a huge emphasis on answering the very tough questions of WHY is God doing this to me? Why is He letting me suffer? These questions are so hard to deal with for women in our shoes, and never have I felt so understood and validated from reading a book. I almost wish everyone who was a close friend or family member could read it, because it did such a good job describing what the couple actually feels like going through this seemingly never ending journey...the anxiety, the hope, the despair, the exhaustion, the physical, mental and financial toll. All of it. Obviously, no one can truly understand what it's like unless they've walked through it.
It helped me re-shape my outlook on the tough question of WHY to one that focuses more on hope for the future and all the ways I'll be a stronger and better parent having gone through this. Only when the struggle is over are we able to look back and say, "This actually couldn't have happened at a more perfect time." I am really trying to believe that realization will happen for us and that there is a greater plan that I can't yet see, but will in time. I may not be at peace or feel 100% faithful all the time, but I am working on it.
IVF transfer #3 is scheduled for tomorrow mid-day. I'll be doing a pre-transfer acu session and will be laying low afterwards. Then, I'll return for another acu session the following day. I'm not doing 3 full days of bed rest, but will be taking it easy the whole week following transfer....no exercise, heavy lifting, or anything else unnecessary until our beta hCG on 9/12. In the meantime, I would really appreciate any prayers for peace you can pass our way. I am praying for all of you traveling this journey as well!