This is Part Two in a series on infertility. Click here to read Part One.
“Hope” is the thing with feathersThat perches in the soulAnd sings the tune without the wordsAnd never stops at all –And sweetest in the Gale is heardAnd sore must be the stormThat could abash the little BirdThat kept so many warm.I’ve heard it in the chillest landAnd on the strangest SeaYet never in Extremity,It asked a crumb of me.—Emily Dickinson
Infertility is particularly nasty because it tangles itself up in so many things: the past, the future, love, sex, creation, mystery, medicine, purpose—and perhaps worst of all—hope. Over the last several years, in test after test, doctors have continually put my husband and me in the “unexplained” category of infertility. There is no reason, medically speaking, that we shouldn’t be able to get pregnant. Many doctors have said that we should take this as a good sign—there is still hope.
Hope. There’s that little word again. Of all the emotions I’ve carried during this season of life, I still can’t seem to figure that one out. It’s like a candle that’s meant to light the way but only seems to burn me. If Hope never asked a crumb of Emily Dickinson, she’s lucky. It has asked everything of me.