Recently I read: The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America, an intriguing, historical novel about the World's Fair in Chicago in 1893. While I will spare you even a brief review (ok fine, for the most part I liked it - there are you happy?), I was fascinated to get the history behind the wonderous Ferris Wheel - a staple to every decent fair I have ever known. In this well researched story, the Ferris Wheel, though only briefly mentioned, so perfectly captures the feelings that I am going through right now. From the build up of delays and potential problems to the exhilarating ride to horrible possibilities of things that can (and do) go wrong to the remorsefulness that comes with loss and success.
Who knew that after getting our initial hCG values (and good ones at that), that I'd still feel like a bundle of nerves? In the Land of IF*, a positive pregnancy test really is just extending the anxiety from the 2ww. Yay we are pregnant with a good hCG! Oh crap - I hope it doubles in two days. Yay it went over double! Oh crap, I hope it grows as expected by next blood test. Yay! It grew as expected! Congrats - you get a new 2ww till ultrasound, where hopefully, you will see a heartbeat. It feels like every milestone comes with new nerve-shattering waits.
But I'm also excited. For the first time ever, I'm considering shopping. On the surface that seems like a trivial thing, but as fellow IFers** know, it really isn't. There's always the thought "What if I buy something and then something goes wrong?" In March, we have a HUGE, local community mom consignment event coming up, and if everything is still ok, then I'll feel like I can purchase some things. Not big things, but SOME things. A pleasure I have completely avoided on all of our tries (with the exception of 1 book last year). There are other things I am excited about, but the idea of allowing myself to shop is a pretty big deal.
Being scared is another emotion all together. There are so many things to worry about. Will the pregnancy make it? What if there are twins? What if there are more??? What if the baby(ies) are born early? What if there are medical problems afterwards? As the pot grows bigger, it feels like any loss would be that much more.
Lastly, I feel guilty. Of late, I have not read as many success/pregnancy/baby blogs as I normally do and even ditched a baby shower a few weeks ago that came smack in the middle of my 2ww. I just needed a break from everyone else's "Woo hoo". Quite frankly, I was trying to simultaneously prep my self for a bad outcome, while still holding out some hope. Now we have had a few "woo hoos" of our own and I think of all the other individuals out here in blog land, men and women who have been through so much more than me, still waiting. And that makes me sad. And it makes me feel guilty. Like a weird survivors guilt where circumstances could change and put me right back were I was before. Guilty for my current feelings of success that happened while I was shamefully avoiding other's.
The ride of infertility is much like that first ferris wheel created in 1893. Not only does the ferris wheel go up and down on it's circular ride, but the details before, after, and in-between can't be ignored. The marvel of it all staying together, even when massive numbers of nuts and bolts fly off, is awe-inspiring. On so many levels, each successful turn is to be admired.
*When I refer to the Land of If, I mean it from a metaphorical perspective. I am not quoting the book, but I do like to place a link to it because I feel in this phrase, Melissa Ford so perfectly captured the seclusion often felt by our community: people dealing with infertility. As such, I like to give her credit.
**IFers: people dealing with infertility.