Today marks the first of the final anniversary firsts: a year ago today I conceived Bean, and today I am going to Little K’s baptism followed by a PVED (Parents Via Egg Donation) meeting in Los Angeles.
I’d describe my mood as wistful but I’m trying to keep upbeat because one study showed that IVF success rates were linked to lower stress rates beforehand. It’s hard to imagine how anyone could be bouncing off the walls with happiness at this point — after all, most people conceive naturally just fine, and most people doing ART have had some sort of struggle!
I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit: how do you manage to remain calm and hopeful after so much pain?
My answer came to me at my acupuncture session the other day. My acupuncturist said to remain curious because that helps keep the chang mai (heart-uterus connection) open.
Lying on the table with needles in me, I had a realisation. I have a lot of nervous excitement inside me and, depending on my mood, that will either manifest as anxiety or hope. So I thought of some ways in which I can manifest more hope than anxiety, which will also prepare my mind and body for the journey ahead. Turns out I’m already doing more than I realised!
I decided to enjoy myself over my hopefully last child-free Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
I had a few drinks on several occasions, but I haven’t had any alcohol since NYE.
I also enjoyed a few cups of black tea, but have had low or no caffeine since NYE. I drink mostly herbal teas, but treated myself to a fabulous Swiss water processed decaf coffee a week ago — I otherwise haven’t had any ‘real’ coffee since August.
I’ve started meditating daily, using the Circle + Bloom’s Egg Donation Meditation Program. (Use this link to get a 15% discount on any Circle + Bloom fertility meditation.)
I’m actively working on countering every negative What if it doesn’t work?? thought with a positive But what if it does?! thought.
This is helped by reading wonderful messages of support from my friends in the computer, and friends IRL.
Chocolove is the gift that keeps on giving, and I am reminded that out of loss can come friendship.
I visualise being pregnant — and sometimes, for a moment, I forget that I’m not yet!
I returned to T’ai Chi, after an 11-month absence and went three times this week. I have a lot to learn, but I’m not as terrible as I thought.
I am eating more healthily.
I might not take off my Jizo pendant, but I have started wearing other necklaces again for the first time in almost a year. (Anyone who knows me knows how much I love necklaces!)
I vow to spend more time outside and less at a screen. (This is very hard…)
I have a gift certificate to have a massage, which I will enjoy getting!
Henceforth, I am doing acupuncture once a week.
I can celebrate my niece’s life with our family this morning. It’s okay to feel sad if that’s how I feel in church.
Remembering the words of a wise friend, currently pregnant as a Single Mother by Choice (SMC) using donor sperm: This may not have been the path I would have chosen, but now that it’s happened I feel incredibly blessed.
I am taking positive steps to connect with other women who are on a similar journey to me right now. Their pregnant bellies give me hope that I, too, will be pregnant again soon — and this time for nine months.
I enjoyed picking out a silver Jizo pendant necklace for Nellie, which I will ask our team to give her on the day of retrieval. No matter the outcome, I am so grateful to her, and so glad that there are generous people like her in the world.
I’m focusing on doing all the things I won’t be able to do when I’m pregnant. Friday night I had sushi, and this week I’ll have bagels and lox… What else should I remember to eat?
That list is longer than I thought!
But back to hope… The other day, as I was sitting as my computer and crying, I saw a beautiful iridescent royal purple hummingbird sipping nectar from the pink succulent flowers outside my window. I’ve never seen a hummingbird like it, not even in photos online, and the thought that it could be hope, or even the spirit of Bean, dried my tears and put a smile on my face.
Today, little Bean, I water the lily that returned you to stardust and hope that your spirit hovers ever closer.