How do you hold your hope? Revisited

A bit more than a year ago when I was on the brink of my first transfer with Mia and Urs, I wrote the below which I have copied and pasted. There is a question contained within that I have found myself pondering with increasing frequency. I do have hope for this cycle, but how do I hope for this cycle?

Yesterday Niobe wrote a short, but powerful post
on the topic of hope. Will she hurt less by proxy of hoping less? How
can one have positive hopes that the struggle of infertility will
eventually lead to a baby when all evidence points to the contrary?

In its best light, hope is lovely, the subject of cross-stitched
pillows, greeting cards, and mass-produced decorative wall prints.
"Hope for the best," people say, and conveniently leave off the
completion of "but expect the worst." The worst – the
metamorphosed reciprocal, the rotten thing that writhes beneath Hope's
fair skin, like ominous thunder in the distance of a tranquil day. Hope
is as dangerous as it is beautiful; the lion is a gorgeous creature to
behold, so long as it is contained within its cage.

Hope is multifaceted and the side you see is dictated largely by
your past experiences. I have come to believe that hope is something
borne from desperation. People don't hope for something unless there is
an idea that that something might not come to be. I started not with hope, but with the ingrained expectation that
I would get pregnant not too much longer after trying. After six or
seven months, the expectation turned into the hope that I would get
pregnant before the 1-year line in the sand. Line crossed, I then hoped
that I would be able to achieve pregnancy without help, because it had
become glaringly apparent that something wasn't right. When my sister
got pregnant after my second year of trying, hope was a bitch that I'd
grown tired of entertaining, and I approached each cycle with no
expectations, or hope, at all.

Since then, I've had hope rebuilt and shattered and back again, and
my previous waltzes with her determine how I approach the dance floor.
This time, I'm willing to tango. But I know there are others who prefer
to sit on the sidelines with their eyes squeezed shut and fingers
pressed into their ears. Some don't even want to hear the music, and
who can blame them when all they hear is an incongruous dirge?

So I ask – how do you hold your hope? Is it something you keep close
to you, holding on to it fiercely because it's all that you have left?
Or do you lock it down and turn away from it, fearful of the crouching
beast and its ability to swallow you whole? If you feel comfortable
sharing, what are the past events that dictate your perspective on
hope? My personal view is
blended, shaped a bit more by my experience with infertility than it is
by my experience as a surrogate.

Hope is shifty, an amorphous mass which often changes before you've realized it has. This time, I have no desire to take hope by the hand for a spin across the floor. Her lullaby does not soothe me to sleep; instead it is the seed of night terrors. I don't want to let her melody carry me. I hear her, but I'm too afraid to listen. When — no, if — hope decides to curl herself around the throb of a heartbeat within, then maybe I'll lend her an ear. For now, it's just enough to know she's there, even if I don't care to acknowledge her.

I throw this question out to the blogosphere again; how do you hold your hope?

18 Comments

  1. tash on April 24, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    What is this Hope of which you speak?



  2. Baby Smiling In Back Seat on April 24, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    My main tactic has been to let others hold my hope for me, and to hold it for them in turn.
    I’ve been burned too many times to just hope like a normal person.



  3. Hillary on April 24, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    Hope is indeed a very shifty thing.
    I love your blog header and tagline 🙂
    ICLW



  4. Betty M on April 24, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    I hold it pretty far away from me these days. Too painful to hope too hard.



  5. Heather R. on April 24, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    I will do the hoping for you, sweetie. All of us in blog land will sneak attack that bitch and hold her hostage until you are given what you desire.
    My mom is rooting for you too! She thought a blog was swampland! When I told her I was blogging she told me to look out for snakes and leeches. I’ve told her all about you and she always asks for updates when we talk.
    We love you!



  6. anymommy on April 24, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    “Her lullaby does not soothe me to sleep; instead it is the seed of night terrors. I don’t want to let her melody carry me. I hear her, but I’m too afraid to listen. When — no, if — hope decides to curl herself around the throb of a heartbeat within, then maybe I’ll lend her an ear.”
    I know your question and topic are serious, but I’m distracted by your writing. Gorgeous.



  7. Mr. Shelby on April 24, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    Hope is something I struggle with at time. I try to talk with Shelby about how I feel, and blog. Those help me figure out what I’m *really* thinking.
    Glad to have found your blog though ICLW.
    Mr. Shelby



  8. Cara on April 24, 2009 at 6:10 pm

    Both posts – are really gorgeous. The question is a difficult one. Even now, two healthy girls later I find myself ‘hoping’ that I get to keep them. I know the better course of action would be to banish such passive agressive morbid thoughts – and I do, most of the time, but they sneak in…they just do.



  9. Jo on April 24, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    Try as I might to banish Hope to a dark corner, she always sneaks in and surprises me. I just can’t seem to keep her at bay. . .even now, without a treatment cycle, and such a tiny miniscule chance, she is reminding me that there IS still a chance.
    What a bitch.
    Hugs,
    Jo



  10. kimmyg123@yahoo.com on April 24, 2009 at 7:03 pm

    I hold my hope in the eyes of those around me. My heart is full of love and positive thinking so I am a lucky one(oooh I think that should be MY blog name LOL, back to topic) that hope flows easily for. Though it has been luck that has brought her magic my way!
    I’ll hold your hope ANYTIME friend. With Love, compassion, understanding and all my positive thought, vibes and prayers!



  11. JessPond on April 24, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    Hope, you know THE PROBLEM WITH THAT. 🙂
    I love/hate hope. Hope is what gets you through…if things were hopeless, there’s no way you’d really try anything. Yet…hoping and hoping for thigns that don’t come soon/never come does lead to such heartbreak.
    I’ll hope for you. I hold my hope in hoping for others, I think. Hoping for me, I’m just not that great at it.



  12. Kim on April 25, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    Um ok, I first thought your line said “hope is a shit*y thing”…Like leave out the F in shifty and I was immediately going OH yeah…
    I hold on to my hope not very well. Most days I wonder how others even have hope? BUT on rare days, I can look at my own kids, and the four surrokids that I’ve been blessed to birth, and then I can say Yes there is reason to have hope…and that is what my heart clings to, that is the pulse within me that makes me believe that I can help create another family…
    I will have hope for you and your upcoming cycle–it seems easier to hold out hope for others, than for our own cycle, doesn’t it????



  13. jill on April 25, 2009 at 8:53 pm

    Loved reading this post and the comments. I’ve struggled with the good and bad of “Hope” for a long time. As someone else said, if things were hopeless then we’d never try… but allowing hope to sneak in, especially when the logical-you knows the chances are small, is very painful.



  14. stacie on April 25, 2009 at 10:02 pm

    What a great topic and a very lovely post to boot! I think of hope pretty much the same way you do. I know it’s there, but I am afraid of it. It does make me feel wonderful, though, when others can hope for me. Somehow that takes all the pressure off of me. 🙂
    In that vein, I am hoping with all I’ve got for you and this cycle. Hugs.



  15. Kristin on April 26, 2009 at 12:06 am

    Brilliant post my friend.
    I don’t think I ever compeltely turned my back on hope. If I had done that, I would have stopped trying. I did however reach a stage where I was afraid to hope and desperately afraid to not hope. Either raction seemed like it could damn things before they even started…as illogical as that is.



  16. Caragh on April 26, 2009 at 2:46 am

    Hope is something that I will always hold near and dear to me.
    I hope for the future to be better than the past more than anything.
    I don’t hope for miracles though.
    And above all else.. I will always..
    Hope for the best, but expect the worst.



  17. WiseGuy on April 26, 2009 at 3:00 am

    Cassandra has answered beautifully…I like to carry hope for others, and when I am very down, I find inspiration from others….wonders!
    *ICLW*



  18. Lorza on May 2, 2009 at 7:53 am

    Hope..hum…lately has been held for me by others. I normally hold it wrapped in the Hands of God. I have to leave it there b/c I know too much about science, anatomy, physiolgy, and the rest to really feel comfortable trying to hold on to it myself.
    Hope is like a beautiful peice of cut glass with one unfinished side that will slice off a finger if you don’t handle it gently.
    um…gloom much? Sorry.