A friend told me that after the hard times, good will come again. And the worse the times, the better the outcome. So I cling to this – how could I not wrap myself in this sentiment? – and I look ahead. Left foot in front of the right, Monday into Tuesday, 2010 into 2011.
And I know I don’t live a hard life, and my hardships are just pin pricks to those who do suffer, but I find myself, maybe once a week, saying: “Are you kidding me?!” Each setback is a minor defeat, but as a whole body of work, it starts to eat at you. And by this I mean: I am tired.
Matt and I learned that our failed IVF cycle very well may not have been my lousy eggs' fault, but the fault of a cleaner that was used on the floor around the lab the same weekend I had my extraction. Three other women experienced the same thing: eggs that divided and, then, stopped - plum tired and puckered out. Who else does this happen to?
Relief is now anger. I had worked so hard these last few weeks to start the process of, well, maybe just moving on. It's easier said than done going into IVF with no or little expectations: right now I feel detached but by my second monitoring appointment I route for each egg, and get giddy when the number of them climbs to 4, 8, 12. My calls to Matt while leaving the appointment, my drives over the Betsy Ross Bridge. My mom's lucky socks, given to me at Thanksgiving, that she wore during both of her easy labors. I wore them to my last appointments, to my extraction, and had them on while we drove to our transfer appointment that was canceled. And now they are washed and ready to go again.
But when Matt and I were at the circus I saw a lesbian couple with two beautiful, adopted African-American daughters, their hair in braids and pink cotton candy sticky in their hands. And it was at that moment, coupled with so many others, I knew I would be able to let go and define family on our own terms.
And I knew whatever the outcome, through tears and shots and my mom's ugly taupe knee-highs, it'll all be all right (even if I have a good cry getting there).