bravery

Mother’s Day weekend was hard. I tried (and failed) to go to a baby shower — I drove for an hour only to leave after 45 minutes because it was just too hard to be around other people’s kids.

Starting stims this past Sunday, I’ve actually felt, emotionally, one million times more like myself. I’ve been social, I’ve been travelling for work, and I’ve been more active, though I’m trying to be gentle on myself.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the difference between “bravery” and “fearlessness.” I will never be fearless. I have a lot of thoughts and a lot of anxiety, which makes IVF either the exact right thing for me (so many things to try to control!) or the exact worst thing (so many things to try to control!).

Being brave is being afraid, naming that fear, and moving forward anyway because it aligns with your values and goals.

I never had a fear of needles, but if you told me a few weeks back that I’d be giving myself my 25th shot in the belly this morning, I think I may have gotten into my car and driven into the ocean. I am truly trying to take it one day at a time. And today, I go in for my ultrasound to see how many follicles are growing, whether they are growing at the same rate, and a better idea of when retrieval will be.

There are countless things that could go wrong, at this stage and at any stage.

But as my mom told me when I had a promising ultrasound during my last pregnancy (at about 6 weeks- no heartbeat yet, but everything measuring on track):

I have every reason to be hopeful.

And even though that pregnancy didn’t work out, I would not have grieved less had I been less hopeful. I deserved that hope. We are entitled to hope, as human beings. It’s the belief that things have a least a chance to work out that gets me out of bed every morning.

I was thinking last night about how the swell in my abdomen could be cysts, or a twisted ovary, or that nothing is growing except my addiction to ice cream instead of booze. I told S (Mr. Crap? Mr Cracker? Bahahaha) he needs to be there for the ultrasound — in my mind, because I can’t even process ahead of time how I will feel if it’s bad news. What if I only have a few follicles? What if we have to cancel?

But to me, right now, bravery is moving forward in spite of the fear and pain. It is brave to be hopeful, to be optimistic, in the face of so many heartbreaks.

I have every reason to be hopeful.

And please, please, please, let there be good news.

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