Wishes on an ’ema’

Whenever I look at the little wall space above my desk, I see this pretty wooden tablet in the shape of a ginkgo leaf and I smile…

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This is an ’ema’ (votive picture tablet usually made of wood) that we bought at the Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gû (a Shintô Shrine) in Kamkura, Japan about a year ago. Usually, you buy them at the shrine, write your wish on the back of it and hang it on the racks that are put up in front of the shrine. It’s always really interesting to look at those and the many messages or wishes people from all over the world wrot on such ema in many different languages, too!

This one however, I found too pretty to leave there at the shrine and so I had to take it home with me. I still wrote my wish on the back of it as you can see^^. It says: “I want to make/have a child and live happily with my husband forever.”

Ever since we returned from our Japan trip last year I had it hanging right above my desk, so that whenever I lift my head I automatically look at it. It kept me wishing, helped motivate me to try again and again (even when we failed) with making a family. Now that this wish seems to have come true (I’m still a bit scared it’s all just a dream from wich I have to wake up too soon), I look at it and start to smile…(^_^)

Waiting for Hope

‘to wait’ can be one of the most strenuous actions one has to go through, even though you don’t really DO anything when waiting for something to happen.

I have to wait for my official blood test after a Frozen Embryo Transfer right now, but it doesn’t matter what you’re waiting for really…just ‘having to wait for something’ itself can be the hardest thing to do.

One Moment you have hope, thinking: everything will end well – the next moment you lose that slowly built up hope within seconds, because something happened to cause you to lose it, or maybe even just a gut feeling tells you: it’s all lost.

Right now I AM in a situation where I just broke out in tears because something has crashed my hope (that I worked so hard to built up) within a second. Then I remembered this quote that I read in the morning:

Waiting with hope is very difficult, but true patience is expressed when we must even wait for hope. I will have reached the point of greatest strength once I have learned to wait for hope.
– George Matheson

I’ve been through the difficult time of waiting WITH hope, and now I must even wait FOR hope to maybe come back. I have calmed down and will try to strengthen my mind & learn to wait for hope.

with my ‘omamori’ in hand…

Still on the dreaded two-week-wait after Frozen Embryo Transfer, and with all the emotions going from hopeful highs through the valley of worries, everything that gives you some sort of peace of mind (and soul) is much welcome.

This time I’m basically attached to this little thing, keeping it in my hand or around my wrist all the time.

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I bought it during my latest trip to Japan in September. It’s called an ‘Omamori’ (お守り)。The word ‘mamoru’ literally means ‘to protect’ but in general they are thought of as luck charms or talisman. You get them for all kinds of different purposes: safety while driving, good health, successful marriage, giving birth smoothely, luck with money, luck with exams etc. You get the drift.

This particular one on the photo^^ that I carry around with me these days is for ‘receiving a child’ (ko-uke 子受け), which is what we are hoping for right now: to finally be one of the lucky ones to receive a child aka. become pregnant & STAY pregnant.

I’m a realist, but in times like these, when hope is all you can cling to while waiting on a result, I’m happy to embrace everything that keeps my hope up.

 

The two week wait – “Handwarmers of Hope”

I’m just starting on the dreaded “two week wait” after a frozen transfer and this time can be challening. Constantly wondering if our little blastocyst is still there, if it’s doing alright, if it’s doing what it’s supposed to be doing.???? It’s best to find lots of things to keep your mind busy and not worrying too much, or even going crazy.

Today I did some crocheting for my ETSY shop & I chose colours that I personally associate with HOPE – greens & yellow

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Different shades of green = different stages of hope one goes through when being on the two week wait. You may experience a glimpse of hope, or strong passionate hope, or even desperate hope…there are probably as many levels of hope as there are shades of green existing.

But groundless hope, like unconditional love, is the only kind worth having – John Perry Barlow

We do make pretty blastocysts

We had our 1st Frozen Embryo/Blastocyst Transfer and now I’m on the dreaded 2-week-wait with a little “snowflake” on board. It all went smooth and we felt just as excited as we did with our first fresh transfer. Hoping >SO< much that this one sticks & keeps growing for the whole 9 month.

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It’s quite fascinating for me to look at this picture – not just because this hopefully is our baby, but also because I’m fascinated to be able to see it at this stage – all thanks to modern science!! We all looked like this little bundle of cells, but very few of us get to have a snapshot of themselves at this stage. Don’t get me wrong, if I could choose, I’d reather be superfertile over having this picture any day, but that’s not the case so I’m enjoying the little things like getting to see a glimpse of awesome. The lab-lady and my doctor both commented on how beautiful developed the blastocyst looked.

Fertiles and other people are often quick to brag, saying “we do make pretty babies”…So I’m taking the liberty to brag and say “We do make pretty blastocysts” , yea!!!

It was just a cluster of cells, but it was OUR cluster of cells!

Today is October 15th – world wide Pregnancy & Infant Loss Rememberance Day.

So of course I do think a lot about my very early miscarriage back in August after our first round of IVF. I’ve had people trying to tell me it’s not really a miscarriage since there was no embryo that had a visible head, body, limbs etc. I thought about it a lot ever since it happened, so much that at one point I almost doubted there was ANYTHING at all.

But I still have the pregnancy tests with the lines…the lines getting a tiny bit darker with each test and then the last stick with almost no line visible anymore. I can’t count how many times I’ve looked at those, just to tell myself: “YES, there WAS something!” Yes, it was just a cluster of cells, but damnit…it was OUR cluster of cells and it had our genetic material that was already combined, dividing itself into material that babies are made of. And it’s called an Embryo the moment a fertilized egg starts dividing and developing.

So by now – we are about to start our 2nd round (FET) in this crazy journey – I can say without a doubt in my mind, that I WAS PREGNANT even if for just a few days & I suffered an early miscarriage and I’m not calling it any other names than that!

For anyone who sufferes a pregnancy loss, it doesn’t matter at what stage the embryo was, IT IS A LOSS.

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Credit: great comic drawn by the illustrator Paula Knight – it’s right on the spot.She does so many awesome illustrations & comics, so be sure to visit her site: http://paulaknight.wordpress.com/

already in my heart – someday in my arms

Endometriosis based Infertility.

Those are the cards we’ve been dealt. Slowly and over time we learned to play with those cards, just so to keep us in the game. There is always a change of players at the table – nobody can play without (medical) help. Some players have what I came to call “Beginners luck” and can leave the game table quite soon with a happy and relieved smile on their faces.

I try my hardest to send them off with a smile, because I am happy they got through the game so fast! It’s every players dream: go in, play your cards, beat the infertility bank and leave with the precious prize & the glow of someone “expecting”.

I would have to cheat lie if I’d say that it doesn’t hurt a bit in my heart to see a player leave the table. I could dwell on that feeling and give it ground to grow on. Instead I turn around, eyes back on the game table, the cards in my hand and I keep on playing with one thought in mind:

I will not lose to the infertility bank – I will be a mother !