My husband went for a 14 km run, hammered some unexpecting pieces of wood in the garage and went to fly his newly modified model helicopter. I watched Friends clips on YouTube, went for breakfast with my mom and bought sushi for dinner.
We watched the movie version of the book I just finished reading, “A man called Ove” and I decided to buy these blue boots, because dammit! I deserve them.
Our pregnancy test could not have been more negative. Even though we expected a negative result, it completely threw us of guard. It was also the first time my husband had to endure a cycle with so much emotional and financial involvement. It was also his first time sitting through a home pregnancy test. I smiled dryly: “If you talk to God again, tell him I’m a bit angry at Him.” My husband answered: “It’s not His fault. We waited too long. It’s our fault.” I would have been more hurt if I haven’t already beat myself up enough about this. I suddenly realised, after all the times he looked after me after a failed cycle, it’s my turn to look after him.
I made him a bulging bacon and egg breakfast sandwich, wrote him a letter, bought him some chocolate, gave him a back rub and cooked some sweet and sour chicken to go along with our sushi. My fortune cookie said: “If you think you can or can’t, it will be so”.
It was surreal to go to a family lunch this weekend where we were the only childless couple. Instead of a baby stroller; we have an electric wheelchair. Instead of a bag filled with wet wipes, dummies and toys; we have a backpack filled with straws, light weight cutlery and a urine bottle. Instead of comparing our children’s achievements; we are cursing my father-in-law’s regressions. One lady joked that she and her husband just falls pregnant when they look at each other. We pretended we didn’t hear. I really don’t blame her, she doesn’t know our situation.
Oh well. At least we will be better prepared for our next IUI cycle. We’re trying to just handle one day at a time and not get overwhelmed by the bigger picture. Today, I will meditate. Today, I will finish all my reviewing and writing of patient reports. Today, I will type this blog post, which I’ve been avoiding. Today, I will go for a run. Today, I will cook dinner. Today, I will minimise one kitchen cupboard. Today is cycle day 1 and I need to take some vitamins and drink lots of water. That’s it.
In the mean time
My one work friend knows that I’m struggling with my faith. I truly appreciate that instead of judging me for it, a few months ago, she invited me along to a short hike-meditation-picnic organised by some women in her church at a nature reserve in the South of Joburg. Being the nerdy hiker I am, I gave myself a talking to and told myself not to go overboard with the hiking equipment. It’s a short walk. Nothing serious. I packed a normal backpack, but decided to take my camel pack/bladder instead of a water bottle, because it’s really just more practical. Just this one thing.
While waiting for my friend to arrive, I realised very quickly that I’m one of the older women there and that I overdid it a bit. I had my leather cowboy hat, huge dirty hiking boots and a gas bottle for making coffee on the hill. The other women (dressed in normal human exercise clothes) shied away from the overperformer while I reprimanded myself.
On top of the hill, there was a beautiful view of the bush veld and we could hear birds gossiping and sun beatles playing their violins. To think we’re only 30 min out of Johannesburg! The pastor’s wife (sounds like a Mills & Boon title) lead the quiet time. My skepticism rised but I downed it with some freshly cooked coffee and decided to just go with it. She walked us through 4 steps of meditation:
Step 1: Open yourself up. I let go of all my skepticism and anxiety and listened to the sounds of nature.
Step 2: Let it flow out. We had to scan through our bodies and find the thoughts that are bothering us and focus on them. I worried about my infertility. I admitted to myself that I’m feeling a bit frustrated and trapped by the demands of my father-in-law’s disease. I worried about my doubt of God. I then focused on letting the thoughts go.
Step 3: Let it flow in. I breathed deeply and listened. A wind came up and shook the trees and all our hearts. Slowly, some ideas constructed itself in my mind.
Step 4: Let if low forth. While I’m waiting, I shouldn’t waste my love and keep it locked away for a child that may never come. I can share my whole heart in the mean time with my husband, father-in-law, family, friends and even with strangers. Secondly, I shouldn’t worry about my faith. I’m on the right path. I should just keep on doing what I’m doing; searching where I’m searching; hiking, where I’m hiking.
I don’t know if it was my mind figuring things out in silence or whether it was God who guided me. I don’t care. It made sense. I’ve been reminded about this experience this weekend. I’ve been feeling very guilty for not helping out with my father-in-law during the two week wait. My husband didn’t want me to pick him up and put strain on my body, but it unfortunately resulted in my husband becoming my father-in-law’s carer. He’s exhausted and feels very trapped. We’re in the process of organising a carer to start at our home but we’re still waiting for the medical aid’s approval.
This weekend, I cut my father-in-law’s nails, bought him some new pants and sat with him chatting, whenever I could. I need to start helping with putting him in bed at night. I felt much better to convert my disappointment, sadness and worry into love for my husband and father-in-law. It is true. My love and motherhood is not wasted.
Our back yard is blooming in the middle of winter. I hope it’s another sign.