The Side Effect of Hope

Warning: Post contains references to female reproductive cycles.
I got my period today. Which is 86 days since the last time, which for me, without medication, is a really good sign. I have all my herbs and my thermometer and calendars. I didn't ovulate last cycle, but I hold high hopes for this month, I'm doing low-carb and I've been walking.
Last cycle I couldn't help myself and I counted. If I had conceived my due date would have been my birthday. I told myself, I promised myself, that I wouldn't do that again. How long did this resolution last you might ask? 8 hours. I was updating my calendar with information about my parents upcoming trip and I did it, I counted. Average first pregnancy count vs. "due date" count would have me giving birth on Mother's Day. I thought I was going to cry. I had this image in my head of holding a baby in my arms and nursing for the first time as the sun rises on Mother's Day morning.
Brian likes these images. He likes the way that my mind illustrates concepts and they make him smile. He fell in love with me while I described the scene I had in my head of watching my first child take his first steps. But I don't feel these images the same way. They aren't pleasant "maybe one day" things. They are tiny deaths. The baby that might have been born on my birthday was then a child I lost. And if I don't get pregnant this month I will lose that baby that I see in my arms on Mother's Day morning.
Every month, every week, every day I wake up with the image of the way the world should be and I am always disappointed. If I didn't see the world as it should be in such perfect clarity. I could be content. If my hope didn't come in Technicolor. If my dreams weren't like a Choose Your Own Adventure novel that alters itself to guarantee a happy ending. Because life doesn't have happy endings. Life has real endings. Life has bitter endings. Always bitter, if you're lucky bittersweet. If you're blessed bittersweet. If divinity intervenes on the behalf of mortality, then there is something that makes the bitter, not only palatable, but intoxicating and fabulous.
So I don't lose all hope, because hope is faith. To have hope is to believe that there is a higher power. There is no way to conceive of a world where anything good happens without a power that makes that good; because a glance at humanity proves that relationships, disease, incompetence, hatred, and ignorance untempered only kill us if we're lucky, otherwise they simply poison our spirits and make each moment unbearable. I let my hope, my faith, run like a film in my head and then when life disappoints I crash into that poisonous cesspool that is my mind. There are days that I can't get out of bed because the disappointment is so overwhelming. But I did it anyway, and I knew instantly what a mistake it was, and chances are I will do it again and again and again, because faith is hope. I have faith and so I embrace the insanity of hope. Like a fool I keep going back to that kernel of a dream that I can't let go of. I believe that it's coming right around the bend. If I believed it was years away I would know I don't have the stamina. If I believe that it's right around this next bend I can do it. I don't have two more years in me, but I can always handle two more weeks. Even if it's 52 times that I wait for 2 more weeks, it's better than wrapping my self around two more years. So at the end of those two week waits I find myself back in that pool of despair that shackles me to my bed. Then something happens that pulls me forward one more time.


Catholic Helpmate said...

Have faith and pray without ceasing. The Lord does everything in His good ol' time and there's not a thing we can do to rush Him. :) Besides, Jesus Himself reminds us that there's nothing to be gained by worrying and that if God looks after even the least of His creatures, we'll surely be taken care of. Perhaps you are supposed to adopt a child first, then He'll bless you with a biological child. Who knows? Pray, pray, pray without ceasing that you might be able to discern His Will for you.

Dave and Jacque Fessenden said...

You are an amazing writer! I could see it all! You should develop the gift that is in you. I know the feeling of loss you are experiencing-I lost two grandchildren this year-to odd circumstances. Neither of them apparently mine to have but I'm still grieving. Thanks for sharing your heart. I'll be praying.
The theme for me this year has been God is in charge and God is good. Some days that is all I know and I cling to it.