old hope dies hard

I am losing hope and good will towards my body half way through the two week wait. 9dp3dFET (basically 9 days past my last shot at treatment to make a baby), all I feel is crappy. Any symptoms can be attributed to the synthetic progesterone and estrogen I am injecting, inserting and adhering to various body parts.

I have been reluctant to let hope tease and lure me into a place I am afraid to embrace, to a place I have been many times before. Where I’ve been letdown each and every time. Yet I am trying not to be ruled by fear — fear of testing, fear of a bfn, fear of failure. I am trying to distract myself. But all roads lead back to that damn peestick, just begging for it.

And so as a distraction, I am reminded of a story…

Once upon a time, there was a woman who still believed in hope. Despite all her setbacks and heartbreak, she still believed that good things happened, especially to those who worked hard and deserved it.

Yes, my friends, this is a story about a moment of hope during a two week wait, a long, long time ago…

In the spring of 2006, we were reeling from the loss of our baby boy. We had waited so long to greet him, but life had dealt us a cruel twist of fate. Instead of preparing for birth, I was grieving and preparing for surgery. Instead of celebrating his arrival, I was cursing yet another BFN.  And instead of going on a long-awaited maternity leave, we began planning a sorely-needed vacation.

Many refer to these trips as a poor “consolation prize.” I needed something to do in those late lonely nights when sorrow kept me from sleep. We had to get away from everything. Most importantly, we needed something to look forward to. And it was our 10th wedding anniversary.

We have always loved to travel — exploring new sights and cultures is always an adventure, whatever the setting. But we didn’t have much time or money. We decided to cash in all of our miles and go somewhere we had never been. We had to be able to fly for free (not an easy task in the summer). We planned a wonderful trip to Paris and Prague for almost two weeks. It was perfect — strolling the ancient Charles Bridge at sunrise in the magical city of Prague (below), and along the Seine under the romantic lights of the City of Love. It was an incredible trip.

cbridgesunrise1.jpg

As it turned out, it was during the two week wait. I made a deal with myself that I would act in moderation — a glass of wine with dinner, a Czech beer after a long walk — no matter. After all, when I was pregnant with my angel boy, I drank wine, ate gooey cheese and raw sushi before I ever knew. I was not going to ruin our vacation of a lifetime by abstaining and stressing over every little thing. (And to anyone who may have just secretly passed judgment on my choice, remember this is a woman taking her first vacation since trying to conceive a child for two years then losing him tragically halfway to term and unable to conceive again. I’m just saying.) I also made a deal with the Amazing M: no peesticks were packed.  

Our trip was spectacular — a series of joyful moments and precious memories: exploring corners unknown and discovering secret treasures; the bliss of sipping a melted chocolat and fresh pain au chocolat at Cafe Angelina; being transported to the gardens at Giverny by sitting among Monet’s magnificent larger-than-life murals as they were intended to be viewed at  Musee l’Orangerie; the most perfect sole meuniere in the world; hiking through an ancient Czech kingdom and across the old city to taste a heavenly ale brewed by monks for hundreds of years; sunrise from a bridge built in the 1300s with no one in sight but revelers and lovers from the previous evening (just to name a few memories)…

At some point, I realized my period was late. Could it be? I stopped drinking. I became filled with hope. I thought maybe there is a god, maybe there is good. Maybe my surgery actually worked.

It was our last night in Paris. We spent the evening with my brother, his wife and my two-year old niece, who had taken the train from their home to meet us for the weekend. We had an incredible dinner including lots of laughs, then said our farewells.

The Amazing M and I took a leisurely stroll to one of the gorgeous pedestrian bridges that separates the right and left banks (les ponts). We sat on a bench, under a luminescent moon, the Eiffel Tower off in the distance. Light reflected on the river and the breeze was warm and summery. For the moment, we didn’t have a care in the world. We sat there and held each other and just breathed into the night. I wished we could have captured that moment forever. That freedom. That joy. I didn’t want to leave. And then I thought about what could be. I rubbed my belly and we thought, just for a moment, wow, what if… We felt hope. It was a perfect evening to end our trip.

Needless to say, the next morning on our way to the airport, my period arrived with a vengeance, five days late. 

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~ by luna on April 1, 2008.

21 Responses to “old hope dies hard”

  1. Oj, Luna, that sounded like a great trip. I wish you could go back in time to that moment in Paris. I want to tell you not to lose hope so badly, but I’d feel like a hypocrite, because I have no hope left. I will be crossing my fingers for you though. Hang in there, and try to push the negative thoughts away.

  2. What a magical moment. I’m glad you have those memories.(((hugs)))

  3. This comment seems silly, after such a lovely post, but my period is always, always late whenever international travel is involved.

    I am so glad you got to enjoy Prague to thoroughly. That’s the essence of savoring life.

    I don’t believe symptoms this early say squat: We all retroactively explain those twinges, that fatigue, that desire to eat hohos all day. I’ll still hope, even if you don’t feel you can right now.

  4. I hate, hate HATE stories that end that way. But clearly the best way through a 2ww is Paris, so failing that, I say rent some lovely movies, take a few sips of Burgandy, eat some pastry and chocolate, and hold each other close. No need to hope, or fear — just be in the moment like you were. I know it’s impossible. But I wish you good things.

  5. I always feel so privileged to read these stories of yours — these gorgeously-written insights into your heart. Wonderful stuff, and as always stirring up so many familiar pangs in my own gut.

    Please don’t give up hope! Again, another hypocrite here because I haven’t been able to find MINE lately. But still, please… I need to believe there’s a good ending for the people who deserve it most.

  6. Sigh. Eventually, when enough bad things have happened, you begin to expect that only bad things will ever happen. I tell myself that, luckily, ny hope, or lack thereof, won’t make a difference to the outcome. And sometimes I find a little comfort in that thought.

  7. I’m hoping quietly on your behalf and wishing you peace during the wait.

  8. Paris sounds like a wonderful place to visit on the dreaded 2ww.
    Luna, thanks always for the beautiful narrative. I will keep all the places you mentioned in mind if I ever have the chance to visit Paris.

  9. A beautiful trip down memory lane-thanks for sharing that special time with us. Im standing firm with hope for you…

  10. You must have got up incredibly early to have had the Charles Bridge all to yourselves! I’m so glad that you had the chance to visit two such beautiful cities, and were able to store up so many precious memories to sustain you through this 2ww.

    Like so many others, I am hoping on your behalf.

  11. The Hope/Fear struggle. I hate it.
    I’m hoping for you quietly over here xx

  12. Sounds like such a beautiful trip. I’m wishing lots of peaceful thoughts for you. Big HUGS!

  13. What a beautiful picture to match a beautiful trip! I wish it had ended differently for you.

  14. It was still a beautiful moment, a beautiful time in which hope lived. You still have that memory.

  15. Everything about this post is beautiful. I felt like I was in Paris and Prague with you.

    I know what it is to lose hope, so I will join the others in hoping for you.

  16. Wow what a beautiful memory. Dh and I love Europe and Prague was one of our favorites. We went there before infertility so it was a different kind of memory for us. I know how hard is to have hope. I’m feeling the same way and I’m so scared of what is ahead. Thinking of you and wishing you all the best.

  17. Just wanted to drop in and say that I was thinking of you, hoping for you.

  18. It’s okay to hide from hope. But I’m guessing that if you REALLY had given up on hope, you wouldn’t feel so horrible. It’s the hope that makes the fear so, well, fearful. It’s the hope that makes the past losses burn that much sharper.

    The only thing you can count on right now is time. Hope or fear, pain or numbness, your wait will soon be over. Just try to find a way to eat up the time, and I firmly believe that you will be able to cope with whatever comes.

    Of course, all that being said, I’m hoping like mad for you, honey.

  19. […] even has her own princess dress. The last time we saw them was our wonderful evening together in Paris nearly two years […]

  20. […] year for our anniversary, there will be no lost weekends in Vegas, no European getaways, no fancy dinners out, and no other planned distractions from our ever long six year quest to become […]

  21. […] us, and we did. Plus, planning was the greatest distraction. Even that trip was not without false hope, however, and as we returned home I was reminded once again that we might not ever have the family we […]

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