Let’s rewind a little more….there is a reason I can manage to stay calm about having quads (at least most of the time!)
November 22, 2011
Our miscarriage proved to be much more emotionally painful and difficult than I ever anticipated, and it happened right before the holiday season. George and I decided to take a trip to Mexico over Thanksgiving week as a means of reconnecting and leaving some of our pains behind. We wanted to find a “last minute deal” (by the way….I’m not sure if those actually exist) so we didn’t book until about a week prior to the trip. I thought I found a wonderful hotel on the beach, but it didn’t quite live up to our expectations. I’ll say it was a little more “authentic” than the other hotels we visited in Mexico before. We learned that the water in our room was “non-potable”, the food was comparable to a school cafeteria at best, our sheets were made of some sort of weird rubber that was not cozy, and the building was made of some sort of concrete that funneled noise from the stairs to our room. Needless to say night one was rough and we didn’t sleep much. That night I remember praying to get through the tumultuous journey of infertility and for health and happiness.
We awoke apprehension about traveling over the Thanksgiving holiday. Should we have stayed home? Had we made a mistake? Nonetheless, we slathered ourselves in spf 50, got dressed, and headed out to take on the day all by 7:30 am. We had been to Puerto Vallarta in the prior year with George’s company so we went on a mission to walk down the beach several miles to where we stayed before. As much as I tried to avoid it, thoughts of infertility crept into my head as we walked along the beautiful coastline nestled between the mountains.
Then something amazing unfolded right in front of us. A group of four baby sea turtles was making their journey from their safe dry sandy nest to the sea. I have been to the beach many times during my life, but never in November, which is the time when sea turtles make this journey. Mother sea turtles spend their days in the ocean until nesting season when they take a huge risk to come inland to nest. Going inland is difficult for them as their bodies are built for ocean living not land. The mothers generally return to their own birthplace where they take time to find the right spot to lay their precious clutch. Once the baby turtles hatch, they instinctively crawl towards the water where they will spend their lives until they return to nest. Baby sea turtles are about the size of a small orange and stand out with their dark bodies along the sand so they are easy prey particularly for birds and lizards. We watched these babies trek through the sand for about 15 minutes and all four made it!
At that moment, I got an overwhelming, unexplainable feeling of calm that everything in my infertility world would eventually be okay. It was as if God was whispering a message directly into my ear. If a mother sea turtle can take the risk to nest and eventually her babies could make that trip, I knew that someday I will have babies that would survive like that too. It was a beautiful experience and I am grateful for it. I will think of these little guys when life gets tough; they never give up, they keep surviving. Here is one of the four making it to the water-
PS- A friend of mine later told me that sea turtles are a symbol of motherhood and fertility. Coincidence? I think not. Also, at the time, I didn’t think much of there being FOUR sea turtles, but now I look back at that moment as a sign that we were meant to have four.
Interestingly, the morning of the IUI, George and I were the only ones in the RE’s waiting room since it was New Year’s Day. The TV was on, but there was no sound. George looked at the screen and nonchalantly pointed out that there was a special about sea turtles on the screen. It reduced my pre-IUI anxiety tremendously because I thought of those little sea turtles on the beach. On our way home from the IUI, George and I stopped by the video store to rent a movie. In the new releases section was a documentary on sea turtles. These sea turtles seem to be constantly there as a reminder that it will be okay. I never in my wildest dreams imagined having quads, but I do believe we are going to be okay.