The first time
6 years ago. 3 test packs.
3 test packs were what I needed to convince myself it really happened. Those long waits in the doctor's waiting room, those annoying comments from relatives, hundreds of pills that we both had to take, the months of negative test packs, those questions that lingered in our heads: when will it happen?, finally came to an end. At exactly the third test pack that got me stunned, alone, in my hotel room's bathroom. Not sure how long I sat by the bathtub looking at the three results that glared clearly to me: 1 with two lines, 2 with positive signs.
Only after the third one I called Cip up and told him the news. He was excited, I was shaking in tears of happiness. I was in Bali, he was in Hongkong. But that day distance did not matter at all for us.
And exactly 36 weeks after that magical day, we got a beautiful baby girl, Athena Shadra. Tara. The brightest light in the darkest night.
The second - a time filled with doubts, and coming out of it
After that, it took me a long time to convince myself that another child will do us good. I was scared. I did not think I could deal with another drama of pregnancy as what I went through when we were having Tara. Guilt, I guess, is the evil that can make you stop thinking rationally, and sometimes, can even make you forget that God will help, if you believe.
Even when we again started seeing the doctors 3 years ago, there was still a side in my heart that was unsure. Won't I make the same mistake?. Will it be OK?. Am I just going to create another heart break?. And all sorts of questions lingered in my head.
I guess God works in accordance with what we have in our hearts. When we are not sure, then how can God grant us what we want?. And a child is too precious a treasure to be given to someone who was unsure.
And so we seemed to waste 2 years out of those 3. 2 years of going back and forth to the doctor with doubts in my heart. Nothing happened.
Then in the past year it dawned on me that at the end of the day, God will help in His magical ways. We can never understand how. And I still can't control the outcome. Still, will I live a life of regret if I keep all these doubts instead of just believe in the Mighty out there to help me sort things out?. Not trying and not believing seem to be harder to do than keeping the guilt while not knowing what will happen.
And so I forced myself to come out of all the guilt, all that safety wrap that I've been keeping, and embrace the world of 'trying'. I thought, I would definitely fall in this time. But falling is not the end of the world. What matters was how I would get up, and try again.
The agony of waiting
And so after 4 failed insemination in the past year, and after I said to myself that I would never even think of IVF (in-vitro fertilization), 3 months ago I said OK let's just do IVF. Cip was unsure that I was in my right mind, I guess, when I told him that. He kept on asking me if I was sure about it. And I kept on saying YES I AM THIS TIME.
After Ramadhan was over, we started it. Or, I started it, to be exact. There was a lot of work to do ON ME rather than on Cip. So many tests, shots of various hormones and God knows what. And the big day came.
On 27th October, three embryos were transferred into my womb. How did I feel?. I don't know. Really, I don't know. Between hoping and not wanting to hope. It was an emotional roller coaster.
Then the two agonizing weeks of waiting for the result. Those weeks made me admired those who have done this process more than once (and we met a couple who has done it for five times!). There was no way of knowing if any of those embryos was going to plant itself in the womb.
And patience was never my strength. Those two weeks were probably the longest, most agonizing, wait in my life so far. I woke up every morning thinking is this it?. Are you OK in there?. Will you take me as a mother?. Will God trust me one more time?. And I got no answers.
I searched the web every single day looking for clues, signs, anything, that could ease the wait. And the more I searched, the more agony I felt. Sometimes, too much information can really kill you.
On the 10th day after the embryo transfer (or ET, they call it), I felt really terrible. My back was aching so much. I had terrible headache all morning. And I finished lots more toilet tissue than I ever did before as I went back and forth to the toilet. All the signs that I felt when I was pregnant with Tara.
So, I thought, a test pack wouldn't hurt. A blog that I read did say to stay away from these test packs in the 2 weeks waiting time. If it's negative, it may crush you. But at that time I thought, I've got nothing to lose except for my sanity. Either way, my sanity was lost a bit already from the wait and not knowing. And since lab test was not until the 13th day, I thought, why not. If I knew it was negative, at least before the lab test results came out I'd already know. If it was positive then I wouldn't need to get myself so worked up waiting for that day to come!.
In the morning of the 11th day, I checked. And, 2 lines appeared. Ever so softly. And yet, it was enough to light my day. Cip then suggested that we did it again the next day. I did. In the morning of the 12th day, two lines appeared with much more confidence. And that was enough to make us able to enjoy that day, which happened to be a Saturday.
On the 13th day, we got the lab result. Positive. We were thrilled. Tara was thrilled - even more than we were.
And now, another journey begins, another lesson learned...
It's only 4 weeks old. Very fragile. And all I can do now is to take care of myself so I can take care of it. But a feeling that overwhelmed me soonest I knew was that how much trust God still has in me. Even when I think I've done a mistake in the past (I still believe what happened in my first pregnancy was a part my fault for never wanting to really slow down), God still allows me to carry a life. A precious treasure, because you cannot just replace and buy a life.
I feel that God is trying to teach me something through all this: to try and believe. Doubts and guilt will only cripple you, and stop you from giving your best. We are meant to be stronger than what we think we are. And I think that's what God really wants me to know: that I am stronger than what I think I am. As long as I believe, that I am not alone, never alone, in doing everything I do and in going through everything that I have to go through.
So, thank you oh the Almighty. For again showing me the way and giving me a lesson. You really are the Greatest Teacher.
(R I R I)
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