Dancing and Dreaming on the Edge of Hell

In the Roman Catholic tradition (in which I was not raised, so the following is second-hand), Limbo is a Teutonic word used colloquially to refer to “the edge of Hell” or a place where souls who die in original sin go when not condemned to hell proper.

Limbo is also defined in various forums as:

1.  A state or place of confinement;

2.  An intermediate condition or state;

3. A period of uncertainty awaiting a resolution or decision; or

4.  A West Indian dance.

I am in the dreaded “two week wait” (2ww). My blood test isn’t until January 17th but I plan to pee on a stick at home before then in case this cycle fails so I can have my teary meltdown in a safe environment rather than receiving a telephone call from the fertility clinic at work with a negative beta-hCG result next week Friday.

Sometimes the 2WW resembles a slow-motion dance ritual in some in-between place of confinement at the edge of hell. A place where nothing feels quite right.

Other times, when distractions abound and I succeed – however fleetingly – in letting go, the 2WW is one more step toward our goal of a healthy baby. Or it marks a step toward escape – temporary or permanent – from the purgatorial suffering that is recurrent miscarriage and infertility at my increasingly advanced maternal age.

As the LP said last night, we are incredibly fortunate to have – after a first round of struggle and suffering – our one miracle baby. Of my six pregnancies, our now-toddler is a miracle and a gift indeed.

I am fortunate. I know this. But it doesn’t make the three losses since that one successful birth any less painful or the agony of the 2WW with our crap odds any less agonizing. This, too, I know.

I am not making any final decisions at this point. I promised myself peace from that turmoil during this IVF journey. That includes making no decisions about whether to give up or what to do next while we pray and hope for Francine and Azulito to unite and venture forth in my womb.

In the meantime, I am pregnant until proven otherwise (PUPO). Gosh, I hate that expression.

Whenever I am pregnant (or on Prometrium and “PUPO” apparently), I have vivid and sometimes wild dreams. Earlier this week, I had a particularly surreal and timely one.

At the start, I was in a forest with the LP. We saw a small group of eggs (there were three). They looked more like stones than eggs but as we were looking at them a giant frog leaped into the picture and began “incubating” the eggs. Only one of the eggs began to grow under Mr. Frog. And did it grow!

That tiny stone-like egg grew and grew a la Lewis Carroll’s Alice. As we expressed our shock, the egg grew so large it ejected Mr. Frog and continued growing until it resembled a mammoth watermelon. We watched as whatever was in the egg began squirming, preparing to hatch. Finally the egg hatched and twin full-grown Blood Hounds came bounding out to greet the LP with great joy.

Then I woke up.

This dream made me laugh. And it made me think. During a bout of insomnia a couple of nights later, I looked up the symbols in my dream. What I discovered:

Frog: Represents potential for change or the unexpected. Could also signify transformation or rebirth. Finally, could refer to fertility or uncleanness.

Eggs: Symbolize fertility, birth and one’s creative potential.

Eggs hatching: Suggests one will realize one’s goals or that one’s ideas are coming to fruition.

Dogs: Symbolizes intuition, loyalty, generosity and fidelity. To dream a dog has puppies signifies one’s nurturing abilities.

Forest: To be in or walking though a forest indicates a transitional phase. Also suggests following one’s instincts.

Watching: Indicates passiveness, may reflect watching one’s life pass by rather than participating in it.

What do you think? Am I obsessing during sleep, even if I am able to be peaceful (or distracted) during my waking hours? Or is my dreaming brain simply enduring its own little stint in limbo?

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