Why I can’t bring myself to hope

I recently had a friend ask me, “don’t you think you’ll get pregnant?” after my rather lack-lustre response to her determination that I would get pregnant in the next year at least.

I know she means well, and I appreciate her confidence, it’s probably hard to understand my less than optimistic view of my future motherhood. And in answer to the question, I don’t know. I want to think I’ll get pregnant eventually. But I have to face the cold reality of IVF and the uncertainty inherent in it.

When each cycle has a 30% chance of success, and after 3 cycles some claim that your chances begin to decrease; along with the different statistics around getting pregnant and actually having a live healthy baby making it hard to know whether even 30% is a correct figure; I can’t help but try to protect myself from the trauma hope can cause.

I’m trying to be realistic when I look at the amount of weight I need to lose and the time it’s going to take for me to do that. Not to mention the pressure of that weight being the only thing (besides money) that’s standing between us and beginning out first cycle. Then, after I make it through the hopes and pitfalls of a weight-loss journey, I get to look forward to a demanding medical intervention with absolutely no guarantee of success and a hefty financial cost.

Now, I try to avoid the “why me’s”, they don’t help me and are too easily interpreted as whining, and I’ve got a lot of fantastic things in my life. My point here, is that I have a hard road ahead, and I don’t want to kid myself that it’s going to be easy.

If I go into IVF able to be realistic and know that there’s more chance of it not working than working I can be completely overjoyed if it works and everything would be great. But if I go into IVF blindly optimistic that everything’s magically going to work out because other people have a feeling, I’m not going to be able to avoid the crushing disappointment if it fails. Maybe that’s not sunshine and roses enough for some people, but they don’t have to live through the actual experience. They probably didn’t have to experience a year and a half of monthly disappointment hoping that this month we’d finally be pregnant and the overwhelming fear that maybe we couldn’t either.

Hope is a dangerous feeling for me. Disappointments have abound in the last couple of years and sometimes just the time involved in this journey is enough to weather down my resilience and leave me in tears. I’m finding it hard to even imagine myself pregnant anymore, even though I want it right down to the core of my being. So maybe I don’t want to react to well-meaning hope with feigned enthusiasm.

But I’m willing to take the chance on IVF, so maybe that’s hope enough.