I’m in a dysfunctional on and off relationship with hope.
Seeing as we have certainly been catapulted back into the ice age, I have had the opportunity to watch far too much TV. Hubby, being the first responder nerd he is, got me into Nightwatch. The basic premise is each episode is one overnight shift for New Orleans PD, Fire, and EMS. EMS was dispatched to an injured party whose name happened to be Hope. Hubby looked at me smiling. Same episode later on, police responds to a disturbance on, you guessed it, Hope St. It’s kind of hard to ignore the second time around, so of course it got me thinking.
Hope is such a part of the infertility process that you’ll find any number of products or communities named for it. In fact, on the day I found out about my little banana shaped uterus, I joined a group on Facebook called “Hopeful Hearts Infertility”.
When we found out I was pregnant, all I could think about was a bible verse I had memorized during my brief stint on a Bible Quizzing team as a teenager. (It’s every bit as dorky as it sounds.) We were studying Romans and the verse was: Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.
Hope is the one thing that keeps us going through this terrible process. Hope that one day we leave a hospital with a healthy baby. Hope that we’ll look back on this hurt and it will seem worth it. But when might hope stop being helpful?
Oddly enough, I watched The Hunger Games for the first time the other night and there is a scene that I don’t recall from the book. President Snow talks about why they bother to have a winner and the reason is “Hope. It is the only thing stronger than fear. A little hope is effective. A lot of hope is dangerous. A spark is fine, as long as it’s contained.”
Hope can sometimes set you up for heartbreak. Hope can drive you far past your breaking point and prevent you from knowing when enough is really enough. Hope makes it hard to walk away. Hope tries to deactivate your self-preservation.
I thought the reason I couldn’t continue with fertility treatments was that I had lost hope. Maybe it dumped me or maybe it was mutual but I left hope on the curb with a box full of the gifts it had given me. I moved forward onto my new life and found the strength to go visit a friend whose baby I had avoided. I walked out of her house, and who shows up but hope, that stalker. “That still could be you if you go one more round”.
Hope and I reconciled, but our relationship will never be the same. I can’t blindly follow hope anymore, but I know there’s no life I want to lead without hope.