Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Dum spiro spero (While I Breathe, I Hope)

While I breathe, I hope (dum spiro spero). I came across this quote the other day and it stopped me in my tracks. I thought about how much that word "hope" has been a part of my life for the last several years. I hoped we'd have kids, I hoped we'd have kids on our own, I hoped we'd have them before my husband was 30, I hoped we could do IUI, I hoped the IVF would work, I hoped we'd only have to do it once... I could fill in a lot of blanks between all those phases I've listed but that could take all day.
We all hope for things in our everyday lives, alot of times subconsciously even. We hope we won't get caught in traffic, we hope we'll have a good hair day, we hope our team wins, etc.
But that's not the hope I'm referring to. The hope that has been in my life is deep-seeded, passionate and all-consuming. More than an off the cuff remark about something we want, this hope drives us to do things we never thought possible. It's that burning desire to fulfill our dreams and achieve our goal of family. Not willing to take "no" for an answer.
But after over four years battling IF, hope and I have a love-hate relationship at times. You see, I feel that I've been betrayed by hope. All the hope in the world didn't change that fact that we have to pursue IVF to concieve. That same hope couldn't bring me a baby before my little sister. And every hope and prayer I could whisper, cry or scream, couldn't save the baby we did have.
Hope deceived me when I thought this would be our year. Abandoned me on the way to the doctor's office that cold day in February when I tried to convince myself that everything would be ok. Stabbed me in the back in the weeks and months to follow the loss of our baby as I sat and reflected on how perfect this all "should have been." And as another year's battle with IF draws to a close, I'm left wondering where hope really fits in to all this.
If I sit back in self pity and allow myself to sink into those awful depths of emotions too frequently, I might never hope again. With my heart safely locked away behind closed doors, I would keep everyone and everything at arm's length, never to be hurt that way again.
Dum spiro spero. Those words kept resonating in my mind. While I breathe, I hope. And I'm realizing that if I'm truly going to live, I have no choice but to hope. Our souls long for something more than we have. Our hearts continue to dream of the day that we hold a child of our own.
Hope seduces me back one more time and I realize that even with our tumultuous relationship, it's hope that keeps me going every day. It's hope that pushes me to get out of bed and believe that something good can happen. It inspires me to believe that this next IVF cycle could bring us the baby we've been praying for. It's hope that persuades me to trust once again that the end of this roller coaster is near.
There's a new song by Matt Hammitt, "All of Me" that I fell in love with the very first time I heard it. Actually I was on my way to work and about two lines in I was crying uncontrollably driving down the interstate. I would recommend listening to it at home first! Here is a video for the song:

What an amazing song! With an upcoming IVF cycle beginning in January, we've been scared. What if this doesn't work? What if it works but we lose this baby too? What if we spend all this money again and we're still empty handed? Like the song said, we've been afraid to love something that could break. We're so close to what we can't control and it's exciting but scary. The words of verse 2 made me think alot of the baby we lost and at the same time still pursuing our dreams and IVF again. I cherish every minute we had with that baby and "she" changed our lives and will forever be a part of us.
The child we lost is worth all of me and yet the child yet to come is worth all of me too. They are worth every tear we've cried and every thing we've been through. They're worth facing all our fears and putting ourselves out there again.
We're not entering this cycle innocently like we did last time, we know the worst. But we're choosing to "trade the fear of all that I could lose, for every moment I share with you." Every shot, every ultrasound and every blood draw will be approached with a new appreciation of life and enjoying the moment. As emotional of an experience as IVF is, it is wonderful and beautiful as well.
Through the words of this song I'm realizing that maybe it's fear that causes that love-hate relationship with hope. We're so afraid to put our hearts on the line again. We're afraid to believe that something good could happen to us because it hasn't so far. Fear stops us in our tracks and makes us timid and apprehensive. Makes us question our decisions and our future plans.
I've decided I'm tired of being bullied by fear. We know what we want and we're going for it! Will there be times that we're scared? Of course! But I refuse to let fear control my life. I choose to nurture my relationship with hope and let her lead. I trust that she knows the path better than fear does and we're following her.
As long as there is breathe in this body, there will be hope. There's a french proverb that says "Hope is the dream of a soul awake." I'm still dreaming... will you join me?


  1. *hugs* I needed to hear some of this today. What an encouragement, I too allow fear to stop me in my tracks and question at times. I pray this IVF cycle will bring the blessing that you deserve to you and your husband. Prayers & Love sent your way!

  2. This gave me shivers. I'm sending good thoughts to you and your husband.

  3. I will definitely dream with you. However long it takes but hoping it will be short.

  4. I love the song. Still crying as I'm writing this.

    I too have a love-hate relationship with hope. Over the past couple of years, disappointment has become way too familiar while it seems hope is reserved for the lucky ones. But those words remind me that life itself is hope. And with that, you remind me as to why I get out of bed every morning.

  5. Thank you so much for writing this. I needed to hear it so very much. I am also almost paralyzed by fear sometimes and terrified to hope and move forward in case i get hurt again.

    This is an amazing post and something I may link to on my blog if you are okay with it. You put into words everything I am fighting to believe.

    Thanks for writing this now, when my heart is so fragile and afraid.

    Alissa (MissConception)

  6. This post echos my post on Divine intervention rather nicely. Hope and a higher power - for me - go hand in hand. I love the metaphor in putting you trust in hope and letting her lead. Sounds like you were able to take a deep breath and say Ahhh....such a revelation! Sometimes we get to stuck on fear and the what-ifs, we forget how free we could feel by trusting hope. I am getting closer to having this epiphany myself - just not quite ready to give up fear and worry. Hopefully one day soon, I'll be able to have such an inspirational post!

  7. Absolutely amazing post! Such a beautiful song. You wrote almost exactly how I feel better than I ever could. Having hope is what I have been focusing on.

    I think you are right when you said "I'm realizing that maybe it's fear that causes that love-hate relationship with hope" Fear gets in the way of lots of things. Being able to push through it is difficult and I am so happy you are doing it!

    I hope you don't mind, I would like to link your post in one of my future posts.

  8. What an absolutely beautiful post!? I am afraid to hope for my first cycle in Jan because I know that it is very possible it will end in dissapointment. But I still can't help feeling a small glimmer of hope. As you say, while we breathe, we hope and the best way to look at things is to just enjoy the moment and be grateful for the opportunity of IVF and the miracles of science and a 'little helping hand'!