Suppose you are in the card aisle. You see a mysterious pack of cards on the shelf and you are instantly intrigued. It turns out, the pack may contain the most incredible thing you can imagine, something you have thought about your entire life. You flip the pack over and check the flap for the pack odds. They read something like this: 3 in every 5 packs will yield that one life-defining thing you have always wanted. 2 in every 5 will yield nothing.
"60%-chance is pretty good for something incredible, I wonder how much it costs..."
Of course, odd packs like that don't have a price tag, nor do the shelf labels. So, you meander the aisles looking for the little price-scanner-on-a-pole. You finally find one in the cosmetics section, which is great, because all of the hot girls now get to see you price-checking your dorky little hobby. The scanner lets out a ding so loud you're pretty sure the windows on the front of the building are now shattered. The price pops up and say $20.
"Hey, I've got a twenty in my wallet,"
As you turn to walk away, the damn scanner dings again. At this point, you're one ding away from needing to use that twenty on some new underwear. You look at the screen and realize that you missed a few zeros. The scanner reads: $20,000.00. You don't have that much in your wallet...even when you add in all the credit cards, debit cards, cash, $3.72 in Target gift cards, and the couple of tasty treats on your MyPanera card.
What do you do?
Well, I bought the pack...so to speak.
After a frustrating couple of years, my wife and I (mostly my wife) took the plunge on IVF. I say "mostly my wife" because the comparison of what I had to do and what she had to do was comically unfair. I had to do something while "reading" a Hustler that most guys have tried to not get caught doing since they were teenagers. She had to have all manner of foreign blah blahhed up the blah and blech and injections and pills and "pills" and yikes. Yep, she had a miserable few months being violated in hellish ways, and I had to look at porn and masturbate. Unlike most guys, though, I actually had to leave work to do so.
If anyone ever tells you that it is way easier being a guy than being a girl, and you don't agree, you are a dumb motherf***er.
Ok, back to the card analogy (damn right I'm not done with that):
You decide to buy the pack, and the ride home is awful for your wife and not-so-awful for you (see above). You finally get home at the end of this long journey, and you help your wife to bed. The process has annihilated her, and she is on strict bed rest, and you are on strict do-whatever-the-f***-she-tells-you-to-do-you-lucky-bastard duty. You immediately go grab your pack to see what is inside. You look at the front of the tag and it says, "Sorry, you can't open this for 2 weeks." You've gone to that store 3-4 times a week for a couple months, and now you just have to sit on your ass and wait. A lot of you probably open packs as soon as you get home. If you are like me, you open them in the car (for which I'm never proud of myself). If you parked far away, you might even open a few while you walk. Let's say you have to wait an average of 15 minutes before you open your cards. Two weeks is 672 times that long. And, you're not exactly waiting to open a loose pack of 2006 Fleer Ultra.
Finally, the two weeks is up. You're so beat down at this point you can barely move. You're almost afraid of the pack, now. You make breakfast to take your mind off of it, but don't eat any. It's time to confront your fears. You open this pack more carefully than any other pack you've ever opened. There's no rippin' or crackin' or bustin' this. You slowly reveal the contents of the pack. As with any super-high-end product, your pack inevitably produces a redemption card, that says, "Please take this to the store to find out whether you have received the most incredible thing possible or nothing." You hold in your explosion, because the shake of years of frustration inside you has become indistinguishable from normal. You drive to the store and present your redemption to the person behind the glass.
"Ok, thanks, we'll give you a call sometime today and let you know."
"...Sometime today??? Right now is sometime today...how about right now? Right now works for me. I'm available, you don't look busy, how about right now?"
You thought the two weeks were long. At least then you had an appointment. Now, nothing. One hour passes...no call. Two hours...nothing. You're now praying that you fall asleep because because you've run out of mindless chit-chat and the waiting is eating your soul. No sleep for you. Three hours...nada. Four hours in, the phone rings. Oh my G..ah, what the...ahhh...AHHHH...where's the pho...you got it? ok answer it...
"Dammit, it's just my sister calling...
...No we don't know yet. I told you not to call my phone. You'll know when we know!""
5 hours...you're checking every two minutes to make sure the damn phone is even on. Still no call.
At the sixth hour, your brain is mush. Not cliche brain mush. I'm saying someone has taken your brain and heart, thrown them in the Magic Bullet, added sugar and spice and everything nice, then pissed in it. OneBZZZZZZ, twoBZZZZZZ, threeBZZZZZ...that's just three seconds and you have a delightful mush.
You feel like your senses are far gone, but you still manage to hear the phone vibrate before it rings. In a split second, the mush becomes unBZZZZed. The brain starts racing, the heart starts pumping, and the piss damn near makes an appearance.
Your wife answers the phone because you just can't. The muffled voice on the other end says something. Your wife yelps with emotion. No matter how long that two weeks or six hours felt, nothing can compare to the freeze of that moment when you try to decode that yelp into good or bad.
A little over a month ago, I said I needed some luck. The last thing I equated luck to was hope. Luck is hope. For us, luck came in the form of The New Hope Center.
I can't tell you what a relief it was to have them call and tell us that our IVF cycle was successful. The whole process was overwhelming to go through, and now that we're pregnant, the process seems even more unbelievable.
It's still early, but we are overflowing with hope. As Andy Dufresne said, "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things."