I’m now currently sitting at home on medical leave after undergoing my 2nd round of IVF (after the 1st round of IVF and FET failed within a span of 6 months a year ago).
What can I say about the IVF process? It’s invasive, gruelling, painful and not for the faint-hearted. After going through the experience of having your embryos fertilised in a lab and transferred to your body 3 times, I have the highest respect for women undergoing infertility who opt for the procedure for their first child. I am only too aware that, should this one fail as the others, at least I am fortunate enough to have been blessed with my dear son, who I thank God for every day.
During the wisdom-laden lunch I recently had the good fortune to have with my wise friend, she highlighted to me how important it is that a women who is TTC should stay positive and in her best form. “YOU are the vessel,” she pointed out to me. “You are the vessel to carry the child you are dreaming about. Stay focused on the big picture – the end goal is to have a healthy baby. So don’t jeopardise the vessel”.
I asked her a question that has been my main concern throughout this journey. How do I stay positive enough to not jeopardise “the vessel”, but remain realistic of the fact that ultimately things may still turn out not in my favour? “The outcome is not your responsibility,” she said wisely. “You can continue to try and create the best environment for success. But ultimately only God can give you what you are asking for.”
She then reminded me that everything that happens to you is designed to make you a better person. “Ultimately, God has a plan for everyone,” she continued. “It could have been that if you had conceived earlier you may not have focused enough on Umar.” (My son was diagnosed with mild autism in early 2013.) “Perhaps He wanted to make the marriage stronger and more united because of this. You will never really know what is His plan, but you have to trust that it’s there and it’s for the best.”
“Becoming a mother”, she said almost wistfully, “is a marathon, not a sprint.”
We paid for our lunch, exchanged hugs and parted ways. And here I am, weeks later, praying, keeping the faith and counting down the days. Please, Allah swt, please. Amiiin.