Today is my last birth control pill.
Going on the pill to get ready for an IVF cycle always makes me laugh a little. It's like when I was younger, bringing my curling iron on overnights, and people would always look at my naturally-VERY-curly hair and ask, with a baffled look on their faces, "Why do you need a curling iron?" "To straighten my hair," I would reply, as if this were the most normal thing in the world. "Why are you on birth control?" "In order to get pregnant, silly. Isn't that how most people do it?"
I think about the November day, four years ago, when I took my last birth control pill - having been under the impression that said pills were keeping me from getting pregnant. (Silly girl.) I remember how hopeful and exciting it was. Maybe that's why it's fun to stop taking them again; I get to recapture a little bit of that hope and excitement, a little bit of the long-ago person who started counting nine months ahead every single month. I used to be bitter about this. If none of the three cycles we have ahead turn out successfully, it's entirely possible I'll be bitter again - but not now.
For one thing, though I know how hard this fertility journey has been for me and for us, I have only to turn on the news to see the suffering in Haiti and remember how far removed I am from grinding poverty, from bone-deep fear, from not having clean water, from hearing the cries of those buried under rubble. We all have our sorrows, and the terrible suffering of others doesn't erase our own personal grief - but sometimes a big dose of perspective hits you in the face.
I keep reminding myself not to borrow trouble - not to think ahead to all the "what if's" in front of us. For now, this is enough: the medications are at the house. The birth control pills are done. The appointments are made, the first shot has been given (not bad! Maybe cetro.cide is not as terrifying as the name sounds), and we're on the way.
At Friday's appointment, I had 6 follicles on the left side and 9 on the right; more than last time. So I'm going to think about these good things, and pray for the people of Haiti. (Have you sent some money? We have. Not much, but some. You should, too. Really. Even if it doesn't feel like much, a million small gifts really add up.)
And then, tomorrow, morning, I'm not going to take a birth control pill. I'll take a deep breath instead, and hope. One more time.