Today I am preparing to let go again.
Throughout this long journey over the last two and a half years there has been an almost singularly consistent theme of letting go.
Letting go of my ideas, my expectations, my control (always letting go of my control). Letting go of the timing, of the methods, of my understanding..... Letting go, at times, of my faith, my hope, my happiness, my sense of security, my plans, my own strength..... Always, always, letting go.
And one of the worst things you could have said to me during this time was that I needed to "just let go". Because, sometimes, I think the person saying that has the idea that letting go will be this peaceful happy thing. You will just choose to let go and poof! just like that you will be free from whatever you were clinging to so tightly.
Anyone who has ever really been forced to let go knows it doesn't happen this way. It is often painful and there is a lot of struggling and grieving involved. We don't hold tightly to things that don't matter deeply to us.
Sure, growth comes through this pain. Sure, letting go of one thing often opens you up to so much more. Sure, it is a process that will almost surely bring deep rewards. But - it is not easy. And there is no such thing as "just letting go".
That being said, I realized last night that the egg retrieval will be, for me, another profound experience of letting go.
The last couple of weeks, as I endured and welcomed the hormones surging through my body, I have been focused intently on growing these many little follicles inside of me. I envision them as grapes, or sometimes as a pepper patch ripening in the garden. I visualize their growth. I tenderly and gently rub my belly where I could feel them becoming more full. As I walked in the sunshine, I imagine the follicles soaking up the sun, becoming ever more full and ripe. I think carefully about what I am eating, drinking, and what vitamins I am taking - I want to give them the best possible nutrients for growing. I am nurturing life inside of me that is growing in a way it never has before.
Truly, the closest I have ever been to nurturing a baby growing inside of me.
So, it is no wonder that having them removed from me tomorrow fills me with just a little sadness and trepidation. I am sending my eggs, a part of myself that I have lovingly nurtured and cared for, out into the world - to be counted, scored, poked, prodded, and fertilized. They will join with sperm and become the embryos that they were meant to become. They will grow in dishes. All outside of my body. Outside of my careful watch. Outside of my control. I am entrusting scientists I have never met (albeit very very talented and brilliant scientists) with the care of these precious little cells, until they are to be returned to me to care for once more. This is more than a little scary. Of course, there is no alternative - this is what must happen for them to become what they are growing to be, what they are destined to be. But still, it makes me a little sad to know that tomorrow they will all be gone. Outside of my body, outside of my care, outside of my hands.....
So, once again, I am practicing letting go. And I am much better at it than I was a year, or even six months ago. So that's at least something.
Today I wanted to prepare myself for this in the only way I know how, through ritual. So, I bathed. Yes, I do bathe daily - but this was a special bath.
First, I scrubbed myself all over with a sea salt scrub - washing away my anxiety, my fear, anything holding me back from this next step. Releasing. Then, I filled the tub with warm water and added rose petals from the roses that have been by my bed for the last week or so, and grapeseed and rose oil. I descended into the water, submerging myself in the warmth and comfort and aromas. I piled rose petals upon my belly and talked to my follicles and the precious eggs they contain. I told them what would happen tomorrow, and the next several days. I told them how excited I was for two of them to return to me at the end of the week. I told them how hopeful I was. And I that I hoped I had given them everything they would need to grow, to thrive, to succeed. I imagined the bath as a pool of love that I was washing them, and myself, in before sending them on.
I emerged from the bath comforted, warmed, softened, peaceful, and ready.
I am going to have to let go. I have done all I can. The rest is a mystery.