I know that I'm supposed to be moping. I assumed that if the IVF was negative I'd mope for, well, I don't know. Days? Weeks? Months? A lifetime? But the truth is, I don't feel like moping. In fact, I feel pretty good.
Do I wish that the IVF had worked? Of course. I want another child. I want Eggbert to have a sibling. I want Mystery to be a daddy of two. But somehow, the fact that it doesn't seem to be happening seems to have lost a little bit of its sting with that last IVF. Apparently, for me, the feeling of desperation resulting from the knowledge of the ticking biological clock, coupled with a multi-year history of infertility giving me very little hope of conceiving on our own, coupled with a set of life circumstances that made doing another round of IVF very difficult, combined with the belief that an IVF cycle might actually work today, but not tomorrow, was actually more stressful than knowing that another round of IVF is unlikely to succeed. I guess it's called closure. I have been focused on trying to conceive #2 pretty much since the day that Eggbert was born, and now, I finally have permission from my body to stop focusing on that. It's quite a relief. I don't know if anybody else in my situation would feel this way, but I am so glad that we tried again, even though it didn't work.
The other options available to me--adoption, donor eggs, or living as a one-child family--all look pretty nice now that they've stepped out of the giant shadow cast by the hope for conceiving a mutually genetic child. I'd be thrilled if I got pregnant tomorrow, of course, but I no longer feel a sense of dread that I won't get pregnant tomorrow. I've faced my fear, and well, yes it sucked, but by facing it, I think I took away some of its power over me. So now I don't have to look at my other options through a filter of fear. It's liberating.
When I look at my life, I have to admit that, actually, it's pretty great. I am happy. I like my job. I adore my husband. And while I may be somewhat biased, I suspect that I have the most amazing child ever born. Now that my life isn't full of dread, I have been able to let her fill it with joy. We are having so much fun since we got home from Asia. Nobody is more surprised than me.
It could all have gone differently. I can't even imagine how I would be feeling if we didn't have Eggbert. But I do have Eggbert. So life is good.
I'm really not sure what happens next. But I'm not afraid any more.