Jellyfish and Sharks

I was thinking about Hawaii the other day. I was thinking about the water. There was this beach we visited often on our trip in June. All the water in Hawaii is beautiful and clear, but this beach, there was something about the clarity of the water at this beach that kept us coming back. Truth be told, I’m a little tiny bit afraid of the ocean. I’m not sure why because my parents have taken us to the ocean since we were young, but something about jellyfish and sharks really freak me out. But I had no problem wading and swimming at this beautiful, clear beach. I felt totally safe. I could see to the bottom even if I couldn’t touch. There was another beach literally steps from our condo. Also a really nice beach and great for sunbathing, but not quite as clear. I didn’t want to swim in it. I couldn’t see to the bottom and the water just didn’t feel as safe for some reason. I had no idea where those sharks or jellyfish were lurking and it made me anxious.

That’s how I’ve felt lately. Like I’ve been swimming in a not-so-clear ocean. Don’t get me wrong – the ocean is still really pretty – I have a wonderful family, friends, good job and roof over my head, but I feel like I have no idea what’s currently lurking below me and the decisions we have to make moving forward are monumental. They seem SO big. Because, really, they are big. Will IVF work this time? Will I go through 1 more, but possibly 3 more egg retrievals for none of them to work? Will we get embryos this time? Will I have another chemical pregnancy? Will my Factor V diagnosis increase my chances of preeclampsia or a blood clot? Should have done embryo adoption? Should I keep putting my body through all of this? Can I handle this physically?

These are the thoughts running through my mind lately. These are my sharks and jellyfish.The thing with infertility is that you want to have no regrets. You never want to look back and think, “What If?” but I’ve come to realize that might be impossible. This journey is painful. More painful than I think I’ll ever be able to accurately put into words. I’ve been having a hard time dealing with these sharks and jellyfish lately and I have realized that my heart has been wounded more than I ever thought it could be.

There are a lot of stings on this journey. Some hurt worse than others. A new diagnosis. A cyst that pushes back IVF. I also know there are going to be times when a shark pulls me all the way under water. A failed IVF. No embryos. It’s those moments that you forget how to breathe underwater. You begin to panic a little. Will I make it back to the top? But then I remember, I know how to swim. I’ll make my way back to the surface, eventually.

Right now, I’m still swimming in that not-so-clear ocean. My arms are tired and my mind is anxious.

But hopefully, someday, I’ll make my way to the really, beautiful crystal clear beach.

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