Relearning Hope

This weekend, Mr. Ostrich and I went to the beach. I love the beach. He hates it. So we end up with one annual pilgrimage in summer where I thrash around in the waves, and Mr. O stoically applies sunscreen.  

We got to the beach early in the morning. That’s my favorite time to go, before the beach gets overrun. I enjoy the tranquility of the sun, the waves, and even the seagulls.

At some point in the day, the beach inevitably fills up. Angsty teens, families, drunken youth… that all starts to pile up around 11:00.

Right behind where Mr. O and I had set up, a group of about 5 young folk set up camp. By young folk, I would say they were in their mid 20’s. A couple in the group is getting married in February, so we all had to be regaled by the tedious details of their wedding. Ho-hum.

But then something caught my ear…

“So I’ll pull the goalie in June and we should get pregnant like *that*.”

The conversation continued, including what kind of child they wanted, how many, how far apart. Apparently, if this woman doesn’t have a “chill baby” (whatever that means), she will just freak out.

Miraculously, I did not laugh out loud.

I wasn’t angry. I wasn’t cynical about their plans. Honestly the first thing that popped into my head was “I miss talking about my life with that much confidence.”

Because that is what struck me the most. The confidence they had that their lives would turn out according to plan. It sounded so ballsy.

Since then, I’ve thought a lot of myself at that age, and the kinds of plans I had when Mr. O and I first got married. Let the record show that NONE of those plans came true. (Okay, one. Mr. O and I are still happily married.) I’m mostly okay with that, because many of those were bad plans. Others, like starting a family, are still very precious to me.

I love the younger me who dared to have plans. I’ll even admit to missing that younger version of myself sometimes. In an effort to cope with the tidal wave of disappointment, the IF me stopped hoping.

I’ve grappled a lot with the idea of hope in regards to infertility. I have forgotten how to hope. And as I get ready for IVF, I’m trying to relearn that skill.

I also wonder if I’ll ever be able to sit on a beach, and plan my life without hesitation.



  1. My Perfect Breakdown · August 13, 2014

    I love the question you posed at the end. I am now sitting wondering the exact same thing, and my instant answer is no because I’ve loss my innocence and am no longer naive. Yet, I wonder if years from now once we are out of the throws of this (regardless of the outcome) will some of my innocence come back? I have no answer, but I am curious.

    • thecommonostrich · August 14, 2014

      That’s totally it. It’s innocence.

      I really do wonder if I’ll walk on egg shells for the rest of my life. Which sounds so over dramatic, but honestly I can’t imagine ever taking anything for a guarantee again.

      • My Perfect Breakdown · August 14, 2014

        I completely understand. I hope in some ways I hold onto the knowledge that nothing is guaranteed for the rest of my life. In other ways, some innocence and naivety would be great!

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