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This Time I Really Mean It

“I hope this works.”

How many times have I uttered these words? A hundred times? A thousand?

While duct-taping the leak in the garden hose so I can continue using it without buying a whole new one. “Whew,” I’d said, “I hope this works.”

While scheming with my sisters back when we were little, coming up with a plan to get our dad to agree to take us to the park. (Word of advice: Send the cute youngest sister to bat her big brown eyes.) “OK, you guys,” I’d said, looking seriously at the two of them. “I hope this works.”

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While my husband and I sat on the floor of our new kitchen, installing our new dishwasher with no prior experience. Glancing at each other quickly as my husband went to go turn on the water. I shut my eyes, nervous. “I hope this works.”

While working on an inpatient psych unit, being coached by senior staff on how to talk down a violent patient, and then being led into the patient’s room to try it for the first time. “Oh my dear God in heaven,” I muttered under my breath. “I hope this works.”

While sitting in the waiting room at the fertility clinic for our first appointment. Squeezing my husband’s hand and whispering in his ear, “I hope this works.”

How many times have I said these words over the years?

Now, when I say the words “I hope this works,” I mean “I’ve sunk over $35,000 into this. I am at the end of the line, and I am willing to subject my body and mind to whatever it takes to bring home this baby.”

A few days ago, I was chatting with a friend, telling her that I was about to start my second donor egg cycle. I was giving her a rundown of the schedule of ultrasounds and appointments I had coming up, and which medications I was going to be on. When I was finished, I took a deep breath, let it out, and said, “I hope this works.”

Thinking back on that day, makes me reflect on all the other times I have said this statement without really understanding the true meaning of the words. Yes, I hoped the duct tape would hold on the garden hose, my dad would take us to the park, the kitchen wouldn’t flood with my husband’s mediocre handyman skills, and that psych patient wouldn’t kill me upon walking into his room. I hoped that the doctors at the fertility clinic could get me pregnant, but in retrospect, I uttered those words to my husband because I didn’t expect it not to work. Back then, saying those words at the clinic was no different than the eight-year-old that plotted with her two sisters behind the recliner. In other words, they didn’t have the meaning that they do now.

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Now, when I say the words “I hope this works,” I mean “I’ve sunk over $35,000 into this, I am at the end of the line, and I am willing to subject my body and mind to whatever it takes to bring home this baby.” I say these words out loud with a lump in my throat, my breath catching, and a literal pain in my heart.

How many times have I said this without really meaning it?

We go to Texas for our next cycle March 18. And I hope this time, it works. More than anything, I hope this works.

Image via Flickr/Katie Tegtmeyer

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