Friday, September 24, 2004
For the Fertile Infertile
I am absolutely amazed at all of the options available in the world of assisted reproduction, from IUI to IVF to PGD to ICSI to donor eggs and/or surrogacy (complete or gestational). And yesterday I heard in the news about a woman, infertile due to chemotherapy, giving birth having had a transfer of her ovarian tissue back into her body. It is absolutely remarkable the things that can now be done. Not that it's all successful all the time. In fact, from what I've read of others blogs, it's hard as hell.
The thing that really gets me (and I'm not saying my situation is worse, please, don't get that) is that for someone like me, there appear to be a lot less options. To this point, I can get pregnant. Hell, I did that twice between November/December and May. The problem is that I also miscarried both of those within 4 months of each other. Because of all of my own congenital anomalies (one kidney, one lung, minimal heart murmur, diaphragmatic hernia, scoliosis with spinal cord damage in the neck, etc.) I was considered high risk before I ever got my first positive test. And now I am at higher risk for miscarriage, though all of my doctors try to say that risk is minimal.
So what is a girl in this situation to do? I'm taking prometrium, 200 mg 2/day from ovulation to cd1. Of course, my day 21 progesterone was not necessarily low. I was told it was "fine." But taking the prometrium is doing something. It's me actively trying not to go through this again. For all I know, those little round pills are just a placebo. But at least I feel like I'm trying. Because as we all know, there's no way to prevent a miscarriage. Sometimes these things just happen. It's nature's way. (For the record, anyone who has ever said this? It DOES NOT HELP A MOTHER TO HEAR IT!)
Once all of the genetic tests have been done and it is determined that neither you nor your husband have any genetic reason for your children to die, there isn't a whole lot that you can do. Then it comes down to the fact that either you have some problem with your uterus, cervix, or hormone levels, or "it's just one of those things...nature's way..." Because both of my babies were firmly attached (so much so that my body didn't recognize either loss), because I've had so many ultrasounds (before trying to conceive and nonstop during pregnancy), because I've had two D&Cs all with no evidence of a problem, my doctors have determined it is unlikely that my problem lies with my uterus. For me, there is nothing to do but try again. And if there is another death then we do the HSG, the endometrial biopsy, and then my OB doesn't know what to do so he'll send me on to the RE.
I now describe myself as "an extremely fertile infertile." Because in the end, that's what I am. I can't even count how many times I've heard, "at least you can get pregnant," and, "some people can't even get pregnant." I know all that. I feel terrible for people in that situation. But my response to people telling me this (assuming it's someone that I know well) is, "yes, but in the end, what good has that done me? I still don't have a baby in my arms."
My only wish is that there were something that could be done, some next step. I like knowing that if this doesn't work, we'll do x. And if that doesn't work, we do y. For me, my options are limited. I can keep trying on my own and maybe have success (in fact, maybe I'll have a successful outcome on my next positive, I couldn't say). For me, that's all that I can do. At this point, I can't wrap my heart around someone else carrying my child. Maybe that will change, but right now, that isn't for me. And while I would dearly love to adopt, and plan to at some point in my life, I don't have the financial ability to do so. We make too much money to get assistance, but have enough bills (college loans, car loans, NY rent, etc.) that we just don't have it. And since we don't own a home, we have nothing to borrow against.
I have no other options but to keep trying. I wish that more could be done. I wish more research was being done and more options existed for those who are infertile not because they can't get pregnant but because they can't stay pregnant.
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