Saturday, March 3, 2012

Alternatives to Hope


I can't remember the last time I blogged on a Saturday. In fact, maybe I never have. There's a first time for everything right?

I'm currently sitting in bed with my laptop and dogs, taking a break from writing a paper on the difference between the mind and the brain (oh, thrilling philosophy class). I'm debating whether or not I will work out today, because after a week of avoiding the sickness Eric had, I think I might have caught some of it. This makes me very unhappy, because I have a 6 mile run scheduled this weekend for my half marathon training. Blah.

I realized I haven't blogged in a while. If I were ordering excuses I would ask for "the usual" -- school, work, and no inspiration. But now I think it's time for a little update on the pregnancy, or more like non-pregnancy, situation. I try to only touch on this subject occasionally because I keep my life full of other distractions and ambitions. But maybe someone has been wondering, so here's the latest.

We've been officially trying now for 18 months, and have been through 6 rounds of fertility medication and testing. That is a scary number, and it gets even more scary the bigger it gets. But I refuse to compare myself to others who have gotten pregnant the first month they tried, or even some friends recently who made their big announcement after only 3 months of half-hearted attempts. After all, this is my story... our story ... and it is unlike anyone else. I don't want a copy, I want a new original. And man, do I have an original story here. This is gonna be a best-seller.

Lately I've been thinking a lot about whether or not I'm allowed to have hope. Can or should I verbalize that I'm holding onto hope that our baby will someday find its way into our world? It may seem like a silly question. Instinctively friends say, of course you should have hope. There is always hope, and if you let go of it you will fall into despair. But really, have you thought about how painful it is to have hope only to get continually disappointed, gather your wits and bolster up another dose of hope for another month? Eighteen times? Maybe an infinite number of times?

When you see it from my perspective, it seems almost easier to be resigned, to just not have anything - to be ambivalent and void. This certainly ensures you won't be disappointed. But I'm beginning to dig a little deeper, to scratch off the scab, and ask myself harder questions. Slowly I do this - because I know myself, and if I push myself too much I will shut down. I'm funny the way I'm like my own psychologist sometimes. Is this just a coping mechanism that will hurt me more later on? Is avoiding pain by eliminating hope a better alternative than allowing my heart to feel it and hoping I can stand it? Am I more afraid of the pain of disappointment or of knowing I am fooling myself?

As I've said before, my husband is my sole source of continual hope and encouragement. He says things all the time like "when" we have a baby, and sometimes acts like they already exist, or will definitely exist in the future. Yet, at the same time, we have found ourselves at an impasse on the issue of alternatives to a natural pregnancy. I want him to start considering adoption, but he is vehemently opposed to the idea of having a child that somehow isn't his -- biologically. Of course I work in the industry and see families coming together all the time, see the joy and happiness they find, and the love that is multiplied because they chose this child. He doesn't think we have exhausted our options yet, that we still have several years of trying before he says he will "give up".

But I know how long the process takes - at least a year, and very likely more than that, especially if you have a narrow criteria (such as specifically wanting a girl/boy, under a certain age, with or without disabilities, etc.). And then there are the stories that so often, couples who even simply begin the process of adoption get pregnant right away because the stress is gone. You have hope. You're no longer afraid of the future, because now you have a tangible way of achieving your dreams. Somehow this hope and anticipation you feel in your mind and soul change the chemicals in your brain and physical body and your body suddenly works with you.

All of this because of hope? Darn, there's that tricky word again. Maybe there's something to it. Maybe instead of pursuing alternatives I should pursue hope. Do I dare to allow myself to get excited, to somehow believe that this will happen? Doesn't that go against what I wrote before, that we are not guaranteed anything in life?  Or is hope simply a manifestation of a belief in a good God? If I believe that this is God's plan, that there is a purpose, that God is inherently good, shouldn't I have hope in what he has to offer for my future?

At this point I definitely feel like I have more  questions than answers. But I'm here, asking the hard questions, which is a step in the right direction. I cannot tell you I am going to get out of this bed and instantly have hope. Maybe instead of asking my doctor for another round of Clomid I should ask for a prescription of hope. I don't have the answers, but I do know that I have a lot to think about. This is a process. Believing that my life story is being written at this very moment gives me hope just thinking about it. I'm excited to see where it will lead, even if it isn't what I think I want right now. Because God knows I've learned that my plans are quite often found to be shallow, narrow and selfish.

I choose to believe that God's plan is best, to take one step at a time, write one page at a time, and not try to skip to the final chapter and give away the ending.

After all, everyone knows that would ruin all the fun.


  1. Great may not do them often but boy when you do they are mind boggling awesome!

    I really know what you are going through. Many times all we had was hope, whether it was trying to have more kids, dealing with rebellious kids, moving, jobs, finances, or just life in general. You make some great points: God is good all the time (hold on to that), and yes it's true, He doesn't promise it will be easy, or that we will get what we hope for. But just the fact that we purpose to choose hope does change our perspective on life. We need to choose to have hope, but also be CONTENT with whatever God's answer for us is. To choose joy over what we consider happiness. We can be joyful in our bleakest of circumstances.
    This is YOUR story, and I am so very proud of how you are maturing and growing as a person, and as a couple. Nothing comes your way that hasn't been sifted personally through God's loving hands...chosen for you specifically! God does have BIG plans for your life, and I am trusting Him to give you those kids, so you can experience that love and all the other challenges that come with it.

    I'm here to cheer you on all the way!!
    Love you bunches!!

  2. wow, i love how you and your mom, write, so transparent and REAL...
    after reading this, i keep thinking of the verse, "now hope does not disappoint..."
    praying God's will for you.
    my sister went through all this, and they did end up adopting. her husband was not at all crazy about the idea. but God gave them the perfect child, a perfect match that is...

  3. I've seen both sides of this with a lot of my friends. There was one who had a baby in high school and then once she got married 5 years later and wanted another baby, she couldn't get pregnant. Now she has 6 kids (she did a few rounds of fertility treatments but then just kept getting pregnant and she couldn't be happier).

    I've also seen the people who tried and tried, got angry at people who were having babies that "didn't want them" and turned bitter. I think if nothing else, don't allow yourself to be jealous of the situations of other people and keep holding onto that hope. Things always work out the way God wants them to!