I didn’t want to be here. But I am, we are. Our second, and final, round of IVF. If it doesn’t work this time then we’ve already made the decision not to do it again; it’s too costly. The financial cost is easy to calculate and I am grateful we are in a position to do this, but it’s actually the emotional cost I’m talking about. The hope, the pressure, the anguish, the disappointment. Not to mention the hormones!

So right now I’m trying to cling to hope. This is harder to do the second time, as I can still remember the crushing feeling of loss. The first blow came when we learned that only two of our 11 embryos had made it. The second when we knew that they too had died. Gone, all gone. We’d been so full of hope when we learned that there were 20 eggs, 17 of them mature, and then that 11 of them had fertilized. We were certain we would be able to freeze some. And then nothing. The end of that journey. The end of that hope.

So how do you pick yourself back up and cling to hope? In some ways I’ve been doing that all year, but now feels like the real test. At the same time I’m scared to hope again. I’m reading The Great Alone with my book club and I know exactly what Leni means when she talked about hope breaking you:

“Leni saw suddenly how hope could break you, how it was a shiny lure for the unwary. What happened to you if you hoped too hard for the best and got the worst?”

― Kristin Hannah, The Great Alone

Yet where are we without hope?

It’s at times like that that I’m grateful for my faith, and I find deep encouragement from words of Scripture. Here are some that are sustaining me today (and thanks to the Bible App for the images).

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