A few nights before Christmas, I found myself with the most obnoxious case of insomnia. After multiple attempts at tossing the sheets this way and moving my legs that way, I found no satisfying position in which to rest my tired mind. So, after hours of tossing-and-turning, I surrendered. With every ounce of agitation I felt from my unsuccessful attempts at sleep, I kicked off the sheets and headed to the kitchen for a glass of water – determined to find rest somewhere in the process. As I rounded the corner to our living room, I glanced at our Christmas tree nestled in the corner and decided to plug in the lights while I sipped my water and waited for sleep to find me.
And so I did. I sat on the couch with my knees to my chest and my toes tucked snugly in a warm, fuzzy blanket, and I admired the glow of the lights. As I did this, I found myself dazzled by the grandeur of the season – when the world slows down for one last collective sigh as it awaits renewal in the new year. So, with the world, I contributed a sigh – slow, and steady, and eager for the fresh air I’d receive once my lungs had been purged of the fatigue from the last year.
My sigh was full of fight and exhaustion. We have fought long and hard for what our hearts so desperately desire… a family. And to be honest, I don’t really know where to go from here. Each year, it seems, unfolds the same way: we throw down, get slaughtered, and pick ourselves back up in time to show the new year just what we’re made of (we’re fighters, us Calavittas). And if I’m being truthful, I feel it even now – that renewed determination a new year brings. But this time, it’s different. Maybe it’s that 2014 was just that difficult, but I cannot seem to find the courage to hope anymore. Sure, I can fight. Heck, my arsenal is fully stocked with every baby-making trick known to man. I am ready for war. But hope? Hope seems too daunting of a task. It is too messy, too burdensome, too… risky.
I suppose my hopelessness is rational. We came on strong in 2014 – determined to find the cause for our infertility. So, we tested. And we tested more. And we tested even more. We threw thousands of dollars at what we thought would give us answers. Our hope was high and our hearts were expectant. Then the blows came – one right after the other in the order they were dealt. Each blow hit with as much force as the corresponding amount of hope we had for that particular month. So little-by-little, without even being aware, my hope diminished. And now I sit here stagnant – prepared to battle, but so desperately afraid to hope. And the quandary of it all is that I am not built for this. I, an ardent optimist, have always chosen to acknowledge the most favorable outcome in every circumstance. Yet, here I am with a heart so full of cynicism. So, with every ounce of fight I have to throw at 2015, I will use it to reclaim that which has so gradually been lost over the years… hope. I will fight with tenacity, and I will hold onto it even when it seems downright absurd to do so. And when my husband finds me with fresh tears on my cheeks and another negative pregnancy test in hand, I will turn to him, and with all the hope in my heart, I will say, “let’s try again.”
“Exactly at the instant when hope ceases to be reasonable, it begins to be useful.” -G.K. Chesterton