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The Liferaft of Hope

The Liferaft of Hope

Log this under one of the many benefits of microdosing for the last two months. More on that later, but seriously….it’s been a huge part of my recovery process the last few months. 

Most of you already know that I got pregnant twice last year, but didn’t have any babies. You also know that we’ve been taking a break from trying while we’ve been enjoying our time in Nicaragua

And in my time here, I’ve been on somewhat of a rollercoaster of emotions

At first it was really hard to even make the choice to take a break from trying for just one month. I was fighting it pretty hard. As if taking a pause from trying for one month meant we’d never have a baby, ever. 

But then this weird thing happened as soon as we landed here in Nicaragua. The only way I can describe it is like an exhale.

Instant relief. 

I knew that I needed to stay for as long as possible, and after mapping out five million options on what that would look like- we landed on staying for 3 months total. Which meant our total break from trying would be 4 months. 

While the choice was initially hard to make, once it was made, I felt instant relief. Like I was free from the shackles of those dreaded two week windows of either:

Analyzing every single sensation and symptom in your body after insemination, and convincing yourself that you’re pregnant when you’re really just PMS’ing. 

Or:

Having an answer of not being pregnant, and trying to cram as much as humanly possible into those two weeks, because you have no idea how you’ll be feeling the following month so might as well write ten thousand courses, blogs, and posts, right?

It was….exhausting. To say the least. 

Taking a break suddenly felt more like freedom than a punishment. 

The Liferaft of Hope

But this funny thing has happened in that the more time that’s passed, the less I want to try again. The more time that passes, the more dread I feel welling up in my chest at the thought of taking hormones and having strangers in between my legs every week again. 

So, I’ve been working on this idea of finding a balance between hope and reality. I know I’ll never feel how I felt the first time we tried, because I hadn’t been touched by the pain of pregnancy loss yet. 

But I didn’t want to lose sight of hope altogether just because I was grieving. 

You know how when you know something is “the right thing to do,” like…logically speaking. But no matter how strongly you know this to be true, you still can’t get yourself to actually do “the right thing?”

That’s kind of how this process has been. 

The right thing in this case is about staying hopeful, staying open, and putting my best foot forward while also staying grounded in the reality that this shit is hard. 

As much as I knew that I needed to get to this place, I just….wasn’t. 

It felt like there was this hardened shell around my heart that was gatekeeping the good and the bad. Like I was just frozen in time from the point of my last loss, and I couldn’t get past that point. 

I knew I needed to soften again, but it felt like grief had calcified over every last drop of hope. 

“This is going to be horrible.”

“This is going to be so hard.”

“It’s going to be even worse than last time, because of all the new hormones I have to take.”

“It’s going to be awful.”

These are all things I said out loud, and in my head. It’s like I’d already decided how this was going to go before we’d even started. 

The thing is, I’d hear myself say these things, and think: 

Try to be more positive. Try to be hopeful.

But I couldn’t get there. 

Oh yeah, and the fact that every single person on the internet made a pregnancy announcement during this time wasn’t really helping either. Every time I saw one, I felt like it was just another reason to harden. Another reason to withdraw. 

The Liferaft of Hope

I’d kind of accepted that I wasn’t going to get to the place that I wanted to before we started trying again. I just shrugged, and thought: this is grief. 

But then yesterday in the shower, a miracle happened. 

Why do I always have the best ideas and earth shattering realizations in the shower, by the way? One of life’s unsolved mysteries. 

I’m just going through the motions as one does in the shower when it happened.

Do you ever get really strong visuals? No, I’m not talking about when you’re taking psychedelics, but just in general? Because I do. 

And when I get those visuals, they also come with a lot of sensation. What I mean is that it’s not just about what I can see, but about how I feel in that imaginative glimpse, as well. 

In that moment, I saw myself however many years from now also in the shower, about to get ready to help move our first born out of our house. 

Who knows if they were going to college, or if they were going to travel the world and take a gap year. I don’t know, all I know is that they were about to leave the nest for the first time. 

And I felt the weight of sadness in that transition. I felt what can only be described as a mother’s grief. 

Future me thought back to current me, the one who’s been dreading this fertility process. The one who’s been considering if I even want to do this at all anymore. And future me just kind of shook her head with a little smile on her face, and thought about how silly I once was. 

Future me was so saturated with this identity of being a mom that the very act of remembering how I almost pulled out, because I was scared of the hardness of it all, didn’t even seem like a memory from the same person. 

In that moment, there was no world in which I wasn’t a mom. And as future me had a glimpse of remembering current me’s thoughts, she just laughed and shook her head at the absurdity of it all. 

I laughed at myself for thinking that the fertility process was hard, when motherhood was harder. And I laughed at myself for even considering that it might not all be worth every tear, every loss, every inch of pain. 

But the part that really got me was when future me thought about future Alix, and I felt this surge of love that I can’t really describe here now. Just the thought of sharing all of it- the grief and the joy, alike- with just one person, with my person the entire time…

Well, that’s when I started crying. 

Naturally. 

You know how when these things happen, it’s probably over the course of five or ten seconds, but in that place of imagination the seconds can turn into years, and everything gets so stretched out that you get lost in it?

The Liferaft of Hope

That’s how it felt. 

What I realized in that moment, with my eyes full of tears and soap in my hands was that I felt *it* again. I felt gratitude for Alix. I felt hope for the future. I felt love for this little being that I didn’t even know yet, but felt like I knew my whole life. 

And just like that, the buoyancy of hope lifted me up and out of my hardened state as the narrative for this next round was rewritten. 

Sure, I know it will be challenging, and hormones can make me lose my god damn mind. And also, I know that I want this. I know that it’s worth it. And I know what (or should I say who) is on the other side. 

Most of all, I know that it’s going to work. 

I know that I’m a mom, which is something that I’ve doubted a lot over the last few months. I felt like there was this exclusive club that I didn’t have the VIP entrance to even though I desperately wanted to go. 

And now I feel like I’m at the front of the line. 

It’s almost my turn. 

I can feel it. 

xx, 

K

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