We have survived a whirlwind couple of weeks. The insemination of our first injectable IUI cycle on March 1st was uneventful. Anti-climactic, even. But for the awesome results of the LP’s motile sperm count (those boys love the wash and spin cycle!), it was a whole lot of “meh”. Having a meltdown and losing all hope the day before when I found out we only had one likely-to-ovulate-as-a-mature-egg follicle and one not-so-likely-but-maybe-possible-to-ovulate-a-mature-egg follicle softened the edges of expectation I usually cling to like a cliff over raging waters. Giving up feels like the right thing to do in more ways than one.
If you’ve been playing along, you may recall that I was picking a card at random from a stack of Tonglen meditation cards in The Compassion Box by Pema Chodron. I recently drew a card that read “Abandon any hope of fruition”. I didn’t like it, so I drew another and tried to paint something in my fertility art journal about the alternate card instead. But abandoning hope of fruition – and, more specifically, detaching from outcome – has been a common theme for me on my fertility journey of late. The idea in Buddhist teaching is that longing desperately for a particular outcome ensures our suffering. In my bones and in my heart, I know this to be true. I don’t believe it. I know it.
Yet, despite my knowledge, despite my training, despite my commitment to live a compassionate, loving and kind life – compassion and loving kindness toward others, compassion and loving kindness with myself – I get stuck. Repeatedly. I catch myself enmeshed with expectation and suffering when my hopes and dreams are shattered by the reality that no matter what we do to prepare, we cannot control outcome. Life will have its way with us. This is true whether we expect it to be so or we let go of expectation, when we abandon any hope of fruition.
I should know better. And yet humility rises up and clocks me in the head regularly, reminding me that I am not honest with myself. I am not compassionate and kind and loving. I embed myself in expectation and I immerse myself in hope of fruition. And each time, I suffer. Deeply.
This time, I would truly like to let go. I want to abandon any hope of fruition.
I am not off to a good start: this morning, I took cheap home pregnancy test #1 to begin the process of “testing out the trigger” or testing until the tests become negative so I can confirm that the hCG that the nurse injected into my belly on February 28th has left my system and any positive home pregnancy test after that point will be The Real Deal. One does not do this because one is committed to detaching from outcome. I do this (as do many others similarly afflicted with longing for a particular outcome) because I want to be able to test early. I want to know whether we succeeded or failed before the blood test required by our fertility clinic (which in this cycle is on March 15th – a lifetime away, right?).
In the encyclopaedia of life beside “committed to suffering”, I expect you would find my picture.
Writing this post has helped me see what I am doing and, more importantly, what it means. It means I am a hypocrite. A mockery of my own ideals. Knowing this now, I find it unacceptable. Who wants to choose to live a lie?
I am going to a bold thing. I will stop testing. I will pack up all of my tests and put them or give them away. I will wait for March 15th and the call from our fertility clinic, which is likely to be delayed until March 16th because the 15th is a Saturday and faxing of results can be delayed on weekends, they said (plus they’re open shorter hours on weekends, which I suspect is the real reason for the delay because the lab I go to is pretty quick at faxing results when the requisition says “stat”, as the ones from my fertility clinic do). I will wait and see what life has to offer.
I hope to keep thinking of things to share here, but I will not be posting about testing out my trigger or early pregnancy test results and my heartache over them. This may not be easy, but it is the only way for me to live my beliefs and values. Wish me luck, please. I may need it!