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a blog by Ebru Halper, March 4, 2013

Hope: The state which promotes the belief in an outcome related to events and circumstances in one’s life.

Most of the time, the clients I meet are just about the embark on the Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) roller coaster and despite feeling overwhelmed, they are mostly hopeful. After all, they have taken the proactive steps to meet with a reproductive endocrinologist (fertility doctor) who will help them create the family they’ve longed for. Even the most hardened veterans among us can remember that initial optimism. But, when time is measured by the next blood test, ultrasound appointment, ovulation triggers and due-dates that never were, hope can be elusive.

In essence, hope is what nudges us to keep trying cycle after cycle. The voice that makes us want to believe that next time might just be the one. It is by others’ measures what makes us insane (I'm looking at you Einstein!). I must admit that in my case, hope wasn’t always what kept me going. At times it was simply letting myself go through the motions based on decisions made by our RE (reproductive endocrinologist) or even perhaps by the gentle push from my husband. In retrospect, I was more hopeful that there would be a resolution rather than the belief that we’d have a child.

So where does it come from? In an unscientific test, Shane J. Lopez, Ph.D., asks us to point to where our hope comes from (without giving it a thought—try it): heart, head or faith? If you pointed to your heart, you are not alone. It appears that most of us believe that the heart is where we draw our will to keep going. Although, as Lopez explains, we have to look at the organic workings of all three to find the origins of hope—“the feelings of hope may be ephemeral, but they strongly influence our actions. Hope also requires complex cognitive operations that incorporate, not dismiss, emotions. And hope almost always involves a leap of faith, as we move toward a future that even our best efforts can’t guarantee.”

There aren’t too many things in life that we would be willing to spend all of our financial and emotional currency without a guarantee for success—cheating death perhaps? However, where our biological imperative is involved, we are willing to draw from every source we can to take that leap of faith.

If in any given cycle we vacillate between hope and despair, where do you, Fertility Authority readers, find the strength (or in this case, the hope) to continue on your journey?


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