Easter Sunday egg
Easter Sunday. Bunny rabbits, chicks bursting forth from their eggs, baby lambs – these are symbols ripped from the heart of pagan springtime festivals and appropriated into Christianity. They celebrate fertility, birth, beginnings – and for Christians, they represent Jesus emerging from the tomb, resurrection, new life.
And I sit here wondering if my IVF clinic will be open today. It’s day one of my cycle, and I need to call them to let them know, so that I can start my injections tomorrow.
This is where my confidence falters, these long moments before the onslaught begins. Each time, it is this moment where my fears flood in: of the sharp pinch of the needles, of the dull thuds and hyper highs of the hormones, of the sedatives and invasive aspirations… But more, I am afraid I will fail, that my body will fail me again, that there will be no quality eggs when all’s said and done.
I have prepared, not because I accept all the pseudoscience that infertility floods you with, but as self-preservation. I have followed the recommended diets – though, admittedly, with the odd cheat meal – will that be how I will reprehense myself if I look back? I have embraced electro acupuncture, stripped down to my smalls as pulses run through tiny needle pricks in my back and legs. I have stoically swallowed supplements, all of which stink of cod liver oil and leave a foul taste throughout the day. I have opened my mind to meditation – designed specifically for us IVF infertiles, positive affirmations that promise to open our hearts and our bodies to what is to come. I have selected a mild IVF clinic, led by Dr Geeta Nargund who espouses the values of working with your natural cycle and protecting the mother. I have cleared my dressing table and bathroom of chemicals, feeling the benefits of my organic beauty regime. And what else? Pineapple cores, pomegranate seeds, whole milk, thyroid medication, exercise, lying dumpy on my back with my legs in the air, eradicating plastics… Each of these steps along the journey, they form my insurance policy, a promise to myself that if it doesn’t work out it won’t be my fault this time, that I could not have done more.
I wonder if it is a sign – CD1 Easter Sunday. A whisper from God, who has been silent for so long. I hope it means my eggs can grow this time, that all this work will come to some fruition. That I can be forgiven for the sour and sad way I have faced this war. My husband’s semen analysis results have improved so significantly that we no longer need ICSI – and I celebrate this, because it is what we wanted, but I fear it too because it leaves me exposed. I am the problem, I and I alone. So I talk to the eggs inside me, I plead with them to grow, I hold my belly and I whisper words of welcome and of hope. I do things that pre-infertile I would have balked at. But I try to channel the fears, the chatters in my mind, toward that one golden egg, our Easter hope, to nurture itself, to take from me what it needs to be something, someone, so much more than it yet imagines.
Easter Sunday egg, please, I pray, I hope, I beg, be the one, be our long-awaited baby, be the future that has failed us so far, be the beginning of our healing, be our promise of new life, be my forgiveness, washed anew. In turn, I will channel all the energy and the fight and the love that I have so far invested in this four-year expedition into you. Petey and I, we are here and waiting and we love you already. Be our Easter Sunday egg and we will be your forever future.